According to reports, Russell Martin is on the verge of signing a 2-year, $17M deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates, clearing the path for Texas Rangers free agent slugger Mike Napoli to sign with the Bronx Bombers (appropriate given his power). As if the Yankees need more pop, he’s be yet another middle of the lineup threat to go deep in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.
Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports
Very trusted source tells me:
#Pirates have agreement in place w/Russell Martin. He’ll be in Pittsburgh on Friday for physical.
The Yankees have been flirting with Napoli as have the Boston Red Sox, so this might be a preemptive strike to assure that one of the best FA catcher bats don’t go to the Yankees rival.
This may hasten the aggressiveness on both sides, forcing the hand of someone to make Mike Napoli one of the highest paid catchers in the league.