Free-agent catcher Russell Martin met with the Cubs this week, according to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago. Levine reports that the catcher is currently in talks with the Cubs, Pirates, Blue Jays and Dodgers, and will likely meet with each of those teams.
Industry speculation is that the Rangers, who could use catching help, also could be involved in the Martin sweepstakes. Because free agency just opened on Tuesday, it is very early in the process for Martin, who is by far the top free-agent catcher on the market this year.
Martin is expected to be seeking a five-year deal this offseason, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reported. It appears as though the Cubs are making him a top priority this winter, as they have expressed a willingness to spend significant money on free agency. Toronto has reportedly had discussions about signing Martin with the intention of moving Dioner Navarro to designated hitter, and two of Martin's former teams--the Dodgers and Pirates--both need catchers.
In 111 games with the Pirates in 2014, Martin hit .290/.402/.430 with eleven home runs and 67 RBI. He is a lifetime .254/.354/.399 hitter with 119 home runs in nine major league seasons.