Yesterday the Blue Jays agreed to signed Russel Martin on a 5 year, 82 million deal.
Russel Martin, who will be 32 next season, ended up getting a very similar deal to the 5 year, 85 million Brian McCann got from the Yankees last year, who was 31 going into his first year of the contract. Martin is a career .259 hitter coming off of an excellent season with a .290 BA with 119 HR, averaging 17 a year. McCann is a .272 career hitter with a total of 199 homers averaging 26 a year. Martin is by far the best catcher on the free agent market this year, and unless a team wants to trade for a catcher, they needed to shell out. The Cubs were rumored to offer 4 years, 62 million, so the Blue Jays going 5 for 82 doesn’t seem too farfetched.
It is quite possible though, that the Mets indirectly led to this move.
Before the R.A. Dickey trade, the Blue Jays looked flushed at catcher. They had J.P. Arencibia, who was coming off a 2011 season with 23 homers and a 2012 season with 18 homers. They also had d’Arnaud who looked finally ready to jump to the big leagues. So the Blue Jays do what all teams need to do, to bring in a big player like R.A. Dickey, they needed to take a risk. Essentially the deal required one of Arencibia, d’Arnaud or Gose in addition to the rest of the package, to get done.
Arencibia kept his power numbers up the following year, but his bating average started to fall. He signed a deal with the Rangers after the season and had only 222 PA’s last year. Gose, who never quite put it together, was just traded to the Detroit. The Blue Jays also took on Thole and Nickeas to catch Dickey. Thole still struggles with the bat and we all know about Nickeas.
So the Blue Jays need a catcher, because many of their players are due to leave after the next two seasons, and now they have to overpay for Russel Martin to do it.
The Mets did not influence the Blue Jays to do make this signing, but the Mets were a key part in the gamble that led to the Blue Jays needing to sign Martin.