With a number of catchers across the majors likely to change teams this offseason, Buster Olney of ESPN is now reporting that the Texas Rangers are one of a handful of organizations actively looking at 29-year-old free agent Russell Martin.
Martin hit a meager .211 over 133 games with the New York Yankees in 2012, but remains a coveted player behind the plate due to the fact that he belted 21 home runs and continues to play defense at a high level. Along with the Yankees, the Rangers are among a group of contenders for Martin's services that also includes the Seattle Mariners, Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox.
The veteran catcher earned $7.5 million last season, and offers a similar type of offensive ability as former Rangers catchers Mike Napoli and Geovany Soto. With both guys set to sign deals with other organizations in the near future, a player like Martin may very well be a necessity for the Rangers in order to shore up their lineup before the position runs dry in free agency. Although Martin's batting average has oddly declined in each of his last six seasons, his ability to drive in runs consistently may very well be his biggest selling point.