If true, the $75-80 million might not scare off the Dodgers as much as the five years. Martin turns 32 in February. A five-year contract would take him through his age-36 season. He is coming off a season in which he missed 21 games due to a hamstring injury, only the second disabled list stint of his career.
Martin’s most highly touted value as a catcher is his ability to frame pitches. He excels at other aspects of the position; Martin only committed three passed balls last year in 940 innings behind the plate, on par with Gold Glove winner Yadier Molina (who caught nine fewer innings). His catcher’s ERA of 3.31 was second to Molina among NL catchers who appeared in at least 100 games. He threw out 38.5 percent of attempted base stealers in 2014 and 40 percent in 2013, both among the top 10 in the National League.
But if the Dodgers are afraid that Martin’s offense will fall off, history justifies their hesitation. Here are two pieces (via FanGraphs.com and TribLive.com) that used history to guide the question of how well catchers perform on offense as they age.
No doubt the Dodgers have studied those numbers, and probably a few more too, while pondering a reunion (with a catcher who’s never played for Andrew Friedman, Farhan Zaidi or Josh Byrnes). They have reportedly lined up a meeting with Martin’s agent, Matt Colleran.