Saturday, November 27, 2010

Will The Dodgers Non-Tender Russell Martin?

The Dodgers have to make a decision on Russell Martin. The team could non-tender the catcher who has seen a steady two year decline and who is also an injury risk. In 2007, Russ hit .293 with 19 homeruns and 87 RBI. He was the face of the franchise, and it looked like he was on his way to becoming a star in Los Angeles. But that's not what happened.

In 2008, his numbers dropped off, .280/13/69. Then again in 2009, .250/7/53. Martin's 2010 season came to an early end in August, after injuring his right hip. Prior to the injury, Russell was hitting just .248 with five homeruns and 26 runs batted in. Yet another down year for him.

The Dodgers could non-tender him, or take their chances in arbitration. Russell was paid $5.05 million  in 2010, his second of four arbitration-eligible seasons. Even with the decline in numbers and the hip injury, Russ could still get a raise in arbitration. Fangraphs believes he could get at least $6 million, but it could be closer to $7 million.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Russ, who is from the same part of Ontario as my mother. But as a Dodger fan, I want what's best for the franchise. The Dodgers have until December 2 to make a decision.

So, What should the Dodgers do?


  1. I'm always up for securing younger talent, but Martin really struggled the last couple years. Let him go!!! I like the idea of arbitration, but is the price tag really going to be inline with what he produces? I think not. As much as it pains me, I never want to let any player go, let him test free agency.

  2. Charles - I agree. It's about production. If the Dodgers aren't getting their money's worth out of a player, it's time to cut ties.

  3. Martin should be non-tendered. However, that doesn't mean the Dodgers shouldn't entertain the idea of bringing him back.

    If it means sacrificing the ever elusive big bat, then Martin might be gonzo with Ellis/Barajas/other FA taking over.

    I did a post on Martin's decline on my blog (actually the most-read post on my blog). It's really sad to see the way his career has gone.

    Martin was destined for stardom. He was anointed the team leader by many (including myself) after his second season. It's too bad he didn't take the reigns and capitalize on his opportunity. Torre and Little worked him to death, which played a large factor in his decline.

    He was one of my favorite players, but he's definitely not with the $6 or $7 million he'd get if the Dodgers tendered him a contract. I'd be OK with that amount on a two-year deal, but not for one year.

  4. Dustin - I need to read your post. I agree on everything you said. If he comes back at a good price, fine.

  5. Do you think the other options the Dodgers have are better than Martin. The best option to me was Lucas May and he was delt. Ellis will get on base. I just keep thinking if Martin could get back on track. I am torn. I guess I would give Martin one more chance. But thats my opinion. This is a great topic to talk about because I think every answer could be argued right.

  6. Evan - Ellis showed some flashes of talent in September, I think the Dodgers will make him the backup. Maybe they bring Rod Barajas back or they non-tender Russell and try to bring him back on the cheap.

  7. DB - Here ya go.

  8. i love martin dude is one of my top fav... but he hasnt done nothing in the past couple of seasons.. I was hoping they brought Barajas back.. he was doing pretty damn good the short time he was on the team... and I loved that he was PROUD to be in the DODGERS uniform...

  9. Mark - I wouldn't mind if they brought Barajas back. I guess we'll find out about Martin tomorrow.