Tuesday, March 15, 2011

WSJ Betting On Russell Martin To Return To All-Star Form

Well, that makes one of us:

As recently as a couple of seasons ago, Yankees catcher Russell Martin—then with the Los Angeles Dodgers—was being mentioned among the game's best catchers. If he somehow doesn't return to All-Star form, he would be a rarity.

Martin was an All-Star with the Dodgers in 2007 and 2008, making him one of just seven catchers since 1990 to have made multiple All-Star Game appearances by his 25th birthday. All the others returned to the game at least once.

Meanwhile, only one other position player since 1990 made multiple All-Star appearances by age 25 and hasn't returned: Hank Blalock, who was named in 2002 and 2003 at third base for the Texas Rangers but who remains unsigned since the Tampa Bay Rays released him last summer.

Martin's decline since his All-Star years has been even more extreme than Blalock's, including a 102-point free-fall in slugging percentage.

Hitting woes were the main factor in Martin's exodus from Los Angeles and his inability to get a multiyear deal as a free agent. And it's not like he can chalk it up to injury. The torn hip labrum he suffered last August was far into his offensive decline of recent years. And offseason knee surgery was classified as minor by the Yankees.

How else would the buyer describe a guaranteed $4M off-season purchase? My guess is, Martin ends up doing about as well as another former-Dodger-turned-Yankee.


Nostradamus said...

As if the WSJ's prognostications weren't already in question during these tough economic times...