This past Sunday, Joel Sherman of the NY Post wrote in his weekend article that the Dodgers may listen to offers for Russell Martin. Eric posted a summary of this article Sunday afternoon, and had the same reaction that I had-YEAH RIGHT!!
I commented on his article that Martin had regressed behind the plate this year, as anyone who watched the NLCS can attest. He also did not hit well batting cleanup in the NLCS, but I questioned Torre's decision when Loney was hitting better.
Well, in this afternoon's ESPN chat with Buster Olney, Olney corroborated Sherman's rumor that LA may guage Martin's value in the trade market this offseason:
Matty D - LA: Buster, I've heard that the Dodgers are interested in seeing what they can get for Russell Martin. Are they serious? What could they get for him? What teams could be involved?
Buster Olney: Matty D: Yes, I think they'll explore that. And if they decide to trade him, you can bet the Red Sox will be all over that, with Varitek's time nearing an end, whether it's two more years or less.
This shocked me that Sherman wasn't just making this up. So the word is out that LA may be putting their All-star catcher on the block. But why? This is what Olney has heard:
John (Boston): Buster - maybe it's my east coast ignorance here, but why would the Dodgers consider moving Martin? I've only read great things about him, and his numbers last year were very good. He's gotta still be at least a top 5 catcher in mlb - was it a lack of consistency this year? Please enlighten me...thanks.
Buster Olney: John: There are those within that organization that would like to see him make a greater commitment to his defense. I'll leave it at that.
OK. Not surprising that his defense is mentioned as the reason. Does anyone else think that Sherman and Olney are being used to put the word out to Martin that he need to focus on his defense in the offseason workouts? Maybe. But, I have also read that Russell Martin likes to throw a beer or 10 back on occasion...ala a young Pat Burrell. Not a good idea when you are catching 95 mph fastballs on a nightly basis. I don't think Torre likes that in his players.
So, the next question is who would be willing to deal for Martin? If Peter Gammons is any sort of guage, I would think 29 other baseball teams. The Yankees come to mind, as there have been persistent rumors that Torre wants to bring Robinson Cano to LA to be his 2bman. Perfect timing, Jeff Kent is retiring. Maybe in a package to SD for Peavy?? I could see that, as long as that package doesn't include Clayton Kershaw or James McDonald. How about the Marlins for a package including Dan Uggla?
Will Martin be traded in the offseason? If so, to who and for what?