The Yankees have moved on from their decision to let former catcher Russell Martin walk away in free agency last winter…but apparently Martin hasn’t. After landing in Pittsburgh on a 2-year deal worth $17 million before the 2013 season, Martin saw the Yankees ink Brian McCann for five years and $85 million to replace him behind the plate one year later.
“It becomes an expensive mistake, no question,” Martin told The New York Post before the Pirates were rained out against the Yankees at McKechnie Field on Monday. “They can’t turn back the clock. They went and got a good guy who, offensively, puts up better numbers than I have and so costs a lot of money. I love McCann. They got a good one.” Martin also talked about the Yankees’ decision to let him go, and expressed some regret about the situation.
“Personally, I thought it was a mistake,” Martin said. “There are no hard feelings. I definitely didn’t feel like it was in the general manager’s hands at that point. I always believed [Brian] Cashman and [assistant GM Billy] Eppler and the coaching staff did want me back. I had some presence and a good impact on the team. But the money doesn’t come from them, and I felt at the time, they had different priorities and I wasn’t at the top of the list.”
When asked about some of the other moves the Yankees made this off-season, Martin commended the additions. “I think the smart move is not to repeat a mistake,” Martin said. “I think they paid the price for not acquiring an everyday catcher — or keeping one — and they went and got a good one this year. … They went and got some help in the outfield. Beltran is a stud. And they got some pitching. They went and spent the money on areas they felt they needed help. But the key is they didn’t repeat the mistake they made in the past.” Replacing Martin with McCann, certainly wasn’t one of them.