The Dodgers have an embarrassment of riches on their roster as it stands now with a loaded starting rotation, a lineup full of guys who rake, and a bench of guys that would be starters on almost any other team. There is a reason why they have been the prohibitive favorites out of the National League the last couple of seasons and likely will be again in 2019.
However, one area of need they do have at this moment (well, less so at THIS moment now) has been at catcher now that Yasmani Grandal left for free agency. Keibert Ruiz and Will Smith are highly thought of catching prospects in their farm system, but are not ready to start in the majors in 2019. Many have thought that they could be suitors for J.T. Realmuto, but for the moment anyways...they have their eyes on another catcher.
We don’t have all of the details yet, but Russell Martin heading to the Dodgers is a significant development. While the Dodgers will likely still keep an eye on J.T. Realmuto because, well, he is that good, there is less urgency for the team to bring a catcher in that can handle a major league roster spot now. This may also allow the team to focus their efforts elsewhere, most notably on rumored trade target Corey Kluber or maybe even a move to get Bryce Harper....especially since Toronto appears to be eating a big chunk of the $20 million that Martin is owed for 2019.
Martin was long considered to be one of the better catchers in baseball, but has fallen off recently. He posted a paltry .194/.338/.325 line for the Blue Jays in 2018, but could still serve as a decent stopgap if the Dodgers think one of their catching prospects could feasibly be ready soon.
Deal is a official as the Dodgers get Martin and cash (no word yet on the actual amount) in exchange for minor leaguers Andrew Sopko and Ronny Brito.
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired catcher Russell Martin and cash considerations from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league RHP Andrew Sopko and minor league IF Ronny Brito.— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) January 11, 2019