Russell Martin Rumors: Pirates Will Issue Qualifying Offer To Martin


Russell Martin will be a highly sought after free agent this winter as the hot stove gets rolling. As his market takes shape, the Pittsburgh Pirates are planning to issue a qualifying offer to the catcher.

The Colorado Rockies should covet free agent catcher Russell Martin. If they do, they will be among a number of interested suitors, including big-market teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox. As if that did not complicate things enough for the Rockies, now comes the predictable news that the Pirates plan to issue a qualifying offer to Martin.

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  • According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Pirates plan to issue the $15.3 million qualifying offer to Martin in an effort to either keep him or to make sure to receive a draft pick if he leaves.

    "The Pirates plan to extend the $15.3 million qualifying offer to star free-agent catcher Russell Martin, league sources said.The Pirates made a multiyear offer to Martin sometime during the season, as was reported here, and are apparently serious in their efforts to try to retain Martin. The qualifying offer itself represents quite a raise for Martin, although a huge season has set him up to prosper in free agency."

    As Heyman notes, Martin turned down a multi-year offer already. What seems clear is this: Martin knows what’s going on here. Teams are desperate for a catcher this off-season, he was one of the best catchers in baseball this past season, and he is the only real option on the market.

    Russell Martin has the chance to get paid, he knows it, and he’s going to cash in.

    By issuing the qualifying offer, the Pirates are theoretically buying themselves some time to work on another multi-year offer for Martin. They are pretty strapped financially, though, meaning another team can swoop in. The only catch now, however, is that darn draft pick compensation.

    Can the Rockies be that team to sign him away? Like last year, their first round pick will be protected because it is in the top 10 of the 2015 draft. Also like last year, that makes the second round pick pretty darn valuable. Besides the draft pick issue, the Rockies would have to free up the money to make a competitive offer for Martin.

    Maybe Jeff Bridich and company can get creative and make that money available. Let’s remember that the Rockies did attempt hefty offers to Jose Abreu, Brian McCann, and Carlos Ruiz last off-season. This off-season would require even more maneuvering, however, and even if the Rockies did free up the money for an offer, they might get buried by one of the big bullies, including that one that resides in the division.

    Martin is the guy to watch this off-season; unfortunately there are a lot of obstacles between here and the Rockies actually signing him, with a potential qualifying offer only adding to that list.

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