One name that has been floated around by some, although not officially, is free agent catcher Russell Martin. The former Dodger is coming off a strong season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Dodgers may be in need of a catcher after A.J. Ellis suffered through his worst season in the big leagues.
According to Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago, the Dodgers are one of four teams that plan to meet with the former All-Star:
The Pirates, Martin’s most recent club, the Dodgers and Blue Jays are other teams that Martin and his agent will visit with.
The first team Martin met with was the Chicago Cubs, who recently hired manager Joe Maddon. In 2014, Martin hit .290 with 11 home runs, 67 RBIs and a .402 on-base percentage while maintaining a Pirates pitching staff that was among the best in the National League. The 31-year-old is a three-time former All-Star, one-time Gold Glove award winner and one-time Silver Slugger.
It has been reported that Martin is seeking a long-term deal in the range of four to five years. A deal like that would keep him with a team into his late 30s, a move that many teams might be shying away from. For the Dodgers, they don’t have any apparent help coming from the minor leagues at catcher unless a prospect breaks out in the next few years. Ellis is coming off a season in which he failed to hit .200, although his bat did come alive in the NLDS. Backups Drew Butera and Tim Federowicz have yet to show that they are capable of taking over everyday duties, leaving the Dodgers with the idea of bringing back Martin.
While Clayton Kershaw has publicly clamored for Ellis, the Dodgers would be well-served finding a better option for the starting job.