Top free agent catcher Russell Martin is reportedly seeking a five-year deal in the range of $75 to $80 million, according to Jeff Blair of SportsNet.ca, who also reports that the 31-year-old is said to "already be leaning in the Chicago Cubs direction."
Martin's contract demands seem to line up with the five-year, $85 million deal Brian McCann received from the Yankees last winter, and rightfully so, considering Martin is thought to be far and away the best catching option available this offseason (David Ross and Geovany Soto may be his closest competition). He is coming off a career-year in which he hit .290/.402/.430 with a .370 wOBA, 140 wRC+, and 5.3 WAR, not to mention top-notch pitch framing skills from behind the plate.
Reports have connected Martin to a quartet of teams in the Dodgers, Cubs, Pirates, and Blue Jays. Of those clubs, the Cubs are expected to be the most serious players for Martin, who rejected the Pirates' $15.3 million qualifying offer on Sunday. The Blue Jays are also expected to "take a shot at signing" him, per Blair.