Report: Chicago Cubs to target free-agent catcher Russell Martin

Publish date:

The Chicago Cubs will attempt to sign free-agent catcher Russell Martin this offseason, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports.

Last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Martin hit .290 with an on-base percentage of .402. The catcher hit 11 home runs, drove 67 runs in and stole four bases. Among everyday catchers, Martin's on-base plus slugging percentage of .832 was only lower than GiantsBuster Posey and Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers.

The Cubs' current active roster includes three catchers -- John Baker, Welington Castillo, and Rafael Lopez.'s Ben Reiter ranked Martin as the seventh-best MLB free agent available this offseason.

Heyman also reports that the Los Angeles Dodgers, who Martin played for in his first five MLB seasons, could be a good fit as well. According to Heyman, the Pirates also extended a $15.3 million qualifying offer that Martin will likely turn down. 

BELLER: Joe Maddon already giving Cubs fans reason to raise a glass

From CBS Sports:

Martin is believed seeking a five-year deal considering that has been the precedent set for top catchers. Brian McCannYadier Molina and Miguel Montero all signed five-year deals, for $85 million, $75 million and $60 million, respectively. It should be noted that the Molina and Montero deals were done before free agency, and Molina's was done before he became commonly viewed as a superstar.

On Friday, the Cubs announced that Joe Maddon would be the team's new manager, just hours after firing former manager Rick Renteria.

Maddon, formerly of the Tampa Bay Raysexercised an out clause in his contract on Oct. 24, leaving him free to sign with any other team.

- Sarah Barshop