The Blue Jays have had "internal discussions" about signing free agent catcher Russell Martin, according to Jeff Blair of Sportsnet.ca. Blair stresses that the Jays, who have been aggressive this offseason already in trading Adam Lind to the Brewers and making some waiver claims, could look to strike quickly in the free agent market.
Martin, who turns 32 in February, is expected to draw interest from multiple teams and eventually receive a multi-year megadeal on the free agent market. The Pirates are expected to offer him a $15.3 million qualifying offer in order to ensure draft pick compensation if he signs elsewhere.
For the Jays, the Canadian-born Martin could offer an upgrade over Dioner Navarro, who is still under contract for another season and could be shifted to designated hitter. Toronto has created payroll flexibility by trading Lind and declining high-priced options on pitchers Dustin McGowan, Brandon Morrow and Sergio Santos, and could move a piece like J.A. Happ to create even more financial room.
Martin hit .290/.402/.430 with eleven home runs and 67 RBI in his second season in Pittsburgh. He has previous success in the AL East, having made the AL All-Star team with the Yankees in 2011 en route to a .237/.324/.408 line with eighteen home runs and 65 RBI that season.