The Dodgers on Friday found a solution for their vacancy at catcher: They brought back Russell Martin, sending two minor leaguers to the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for their former backstop. Los Angeles has won two straight National League pennants but lost each time in the World Series.
He started 71 games at catcher and 21 at third base a year ago, hitting.194 with 10 home runs and 35 RBIs. The NL champions agreed with Corey Seager ($4 million), Joc Pederson ($5 million), Chris Taylor ($3.5 million), Enrique Hernandez ($3,725,000), Pedro Baez ($2.1 million), Josh Fields ($2.85 million) and Yimi Garcia ($710,000) on 2019 contracts. The Dodgers had a need at catcher after losing Yasmani Grandal in free agency, so Martin should pair with Austin Barnes behind the plate. "That remains our mindset in every respect".
Joining the Blue Jays are right-hander Andrew Sopko and infielder Ronny Brito. Toronto will send $16.4 million to Los Angeles by September 1, offsetting most of the $20 million Martin is owed in the final season of his contract.
This is not a foreign maneuver by the Dodgers, as they brought back outfielder Matt Kemp past year in a payroll deal with the Atlanta Braves. "Kind of coming full circle for him". I'll miss this great team and staff. He has caught 1,519 games, including 1,455 starts, which ranks third among active players behind Yadier Molina (1,836) and Brian McCann (1,529).
"This year, it's a big year for me", he said.More news: Lexus LC Convertible, Cadillac EV plans, Toyota Supra leak
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As for the Blue Jays, trading Martin takes another aging veteran off their roster. For your passion. For representing Canada's Team.
"I want to thank the Blue Jays organization from top to bottom for the opportunity to play in my home country for the last four years". He signed a five-year, $82 million deal with the Blue Jays in November 2014.
Martin spent the first five seasons of his career with the Dodgers and has also played for the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates over the course of his 13-year Major League Baseball career. Sopko posted a combined ERA of 3.52 with 121 strikeouts in 117.2 innings while Brito slashed.288/.352/.489 in rookie ball. Brito ranked 25th on Baseball America's Top 50 global amateur prospects in 2015. In his two seasons in the Bronx, 2011 and 2012, he caught 258 games, batting.224 with 39 homers and 118 RBIs. He played just 26 games before being shut down for Tommy John surgery and arthroscopic hip surgery for a labrum fix. More importantly, one or both could be ready to take the reins by opening day in 2020.
The 2019 Blue Jays will look significantly different compared to last season. He had career highs in doubles, triples and walks.