Thursday, January 15, 2009

Russell Martin Changes Agents, His Mind

Good news, everybody! From Bill Shaikin at the LA Times:

Russell Martin, who rebuffed the Dodgers' overtures about a long-term contract last winter, said Thursday he would like to explore such a deal this winter.

"I'm always interested in a long-term deal," Martin said. "Who wouldn't be?" [...]

He officially filed for salary arbitration Thursday -- as did Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier and Jason Repko -- and General Manager Ned Colletti said the Dodgers are "concentrating on a one-year [contract] at the moment."

But Martin, who has changed agents this winter, said he hoped to discuss a long-term extension as well.

"I just want to get treated fairly," he said. "I'm not trying to steal the bank."

Who wouldn't be interested in a long-term deal, Russell? Your old agent, for one. Glad you saw the light and canned his ass.

Not only could the Dodgers save money by signing Martin to a long-term deal, but it would pave the way for locking up other youngsters—James Loney has already indicated he's open to the idea, and Chad Billingsley, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier seem like obvious targets as well.

Although the Dodgers' starting rotation is still unsettled, long-terming Martin would be a great piece of off-season news. Throw in Manny Ramirez and things just might start looking up.

Earlier: A Theory on Russell Martin's Struggles, Russell Martin's Agent: Playing A Little Greed(o)y?