Shortly after the Dodgers non-tendered catcher Russell Martin on Thursday night, six teams expressed interest in him as a free agent, according to his agent, Matt Colleran.
One of those teams, Colleran said, was the Yankees, who tried to acquire Martin for catcher Francisco Cervelli earlier Thursday, according to Michael Schmidt of the New York Times.
The Dodgers also want to continue talking with Martin, Colleran said, even though they're close to signing free-agent catcher Rod Barajas to a one-year contract.
“The Dodgers may become a different option,” Colleran said. “They see Russ – and they know him very well – as being extremely athletic. Although they may have signed another catcher, they want to continue discussions with the idea that Russ could come back and catch, play second base and third and a little bit of outfield to see if he likes something like that in the event he ever wants to transition from behind the plate.
“I don’t know if that is something he wants to do or not. That’s probably a different type of option than the other six teams have in mind.”
Martin, 27, didn't play after Aug. 3 last season due to a small fracture in his right hip. He's expected to be ready for spring training, Colleran said.
The Dodgers didn't want to offer Martin arbitration and risk him earning a raise from his $5.05 million salary last season when his health is uncertain and his offense is in decline.
General manager Ned Colletti said, “We tried many times to strike a deal, but just couldn’t bridge the gap.”
Colleran offered a different view, saying that while he discussed Martin with Colletti for a month, he didn't receive an offer from the Dodgers until Thursday.
“They ultimately had the ability to keep him if they wanted to,” Colleran said. “We received the initial offer a little bit later than I expected, which didn’t allow for a lot of time to negotiate.
“I countered that offer, then lowered my request again. At that point, the deadline was just about to pass. They then told me that they were going to move on.”