Russell Martin traded to Dodgers, back to where it began

Jose Verdugo
Enero 13, 2019

The Los Angeles Dodgers made a bit of a surprising trade on Friday as they acquired Russell Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for Minor Leaguers Ronny Brito and Andrew Sopko. Not surprisingly, Toronto will be eating a large portion of his salary.

Martin, a Toronto native, appeared in 90 games last season for the Jays and had one of the worst offensive seasons of his career, finishing with 10 homers and 25 RBIs.

The 19-year-old switch-hitter spent much of last season at short-season Ogden.

Although his slugging output declined, Martin maintained a.338 on-base percentage over the last three seasons. The 35-year-old from Chelsea, Que., spent his first five big-league seasons with the Dodgers.

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Martin fills the void left by Yasmani Grandal, who signed a one-year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday. The same core would lead Toronto to back-to-back American League Championship games in 2015 and 2016.

A four-time All-Star, Martin began his career with the Dodgers (2006-10), then played two years each with the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates before signing with the Blue Jays. However, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic notes that the acquisition of Martin doesn't necessarily take Los Angeles out of the race to acquire Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, arguably the game's best backstop. In rookie ball last season, he hit.295 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs.

Considering average annual value (AAV) of a contract is what gets calculated for luxury tax purposes, Martin's payroll for the 2019 season is actually $16.4 million.

The Blue Jays have been stockpiling prospects and will field a young team in 2019 with an eye to returning to contention two or three years down the road. That will be offset against the $20 million that he's owed for 2019 by the Blue Jays, who are also on the hook to pay him $14 million for 2020 along with a $4-million buyout of a 2021 team option. With files from The Associated Press.

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