Monday November 10th, 2014

The Chicago Cubs met with Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin last week, reports ESPN.

Martin is expected to decline his $15.3 million qualifying offer from the Pirates on Monday and become a free agent.

Last week it was reported that the Cubs are targeting Martin and hope to sign him this offseason. According to ESPN, Martin went to Chicago last Thursday for the meeting, which included dinner and seeing Wrigley Field, which is being renovated. The Cubs are one of several teams expected to start negotiating with him soon. 

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The Cubs currently have three catchers on their active roster, including Welington Castillo, who started 110 games for Chicago in 2014 and hit .237 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI.'s Ben Reiter ranked Martin as the seventh-best free agent available this offseason.​ The 31-year-old hit .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI in 2014, with a .402 on-base percentage. 

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported last week that Martin is said to be seeking a five-year deal. Heyman said the Los Angeles Dodgers are also interested in signing him and that Pittsburgh will try to retain the catcher. 

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Martin, a nine-year veteran, has also played for the Dodgers and New York Yankees in his career. 

- Molly Geary

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