Pittsburgh Pirates sign Russell Martin


The Pittsburgh Pirates made their first real addition to the 2013 team Tuesday night when they came to terms with catcher Russell Martin.

FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports the deal is done (via Twitter), pending a physical.

The deal is for two years, $17 million, according to the New York Times. Martin earned $7.5 million last season.

Martin, 29, batted just .211 last season for the Yankees, but with a .311 OBP, .713 OPS, 21 home runs and 53 RBI. The batting average was a career-low, but the 21 homers were career-high for the former All-Star.

The Pirates needed a catcher badly with only backup Michael McKenry on the 40-man roster and prospect Tony Sanchez likely not ready yet.

Rosenthal reported earlier that Martin grew impressed with Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle when Hurdle managed the National League All-Star team in 2008 and also was impressed with the Pirates’ potential, a source said.

The rumored Pirates offer was said to be for three years but the shorter contract gives the organization little more time to develop Sanchez and gives the Bucs a capable major league catcher in the meantime.

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