As a Toronto Blue Jays fan and Russell Martin fan, I really love this move for the Jays. Purely from a fantasy perspective, I think it’s a decent move for Martin. Last year he mostly batted 5th in the lineup, and in that spot he hit .309 with 10 HRs, 51 RBI’s and 38 walks. He should have slightly improved stats if he stays in the 5th spot (or potentially move up to the 4th spot), batting behind the offensively heavy lineup of Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. He will have his chances to produce and if this year was any indication should post good results.
Russell Martin to the Jays – Fantasy Implications
I wouldn’t expect another season of .290 AVG (thanks to an inflated .336 BABIP, much better than his career average of .289 BABIP) but it isn’t crazy to think he hits .270 with 10+ home runs again, and a very good BB:K rate. Martin is a great catcher defensively, and really should be considered so. I would take a flier on him in the later rounds though if you’re lacking at catcher.
This signing doesn’t only effect Martin though. Dioner Navarro is now more likely strictly a DH/catcher, however I could see him being moved before the season starts. There are still clubs looking for a catcher and while he may not be the best defensively, he did put up pretty decent numbers as a catcher last year hitting .274 with 12 HRs and 69 RBI’s.I could see Navarro being a very decent trade chip for Alex Anthopoulos. I’m sure the Cubs (who were neck and neck with the Jays for Martin) would love to have Navarro back. His price tag is reasonable as well, only sitting at $5M for one year.
To a lesser extent as well I like this move for the Jays starting pitchers. Russell Martin is one of the better catchers for pitch framing and I believe the pitchers will reap the benefits from Martin’s talent. While it may not be a massive difference fantasy wise, I think I’d rely on Marcus Stroman (who for the record I love going into 2015) more than before this signing.
Expectations for Russell Martin in 2015
.270/.370/.400 with 10 HR’s, 70 RBI’s and 55 walks
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