Pirates sign Russell Martin

Russell Martin

The Pittsburgh Pirates have reportedly agreed to a two-year contract with free agent catcher Russell Martin.

Martin needs to pass a physical before the $17 million deal can become official.

Martin spent the past two years with the New York Yankees, who, along with Texas and Seattle, were believed to be among his suitors. He hit a career-low .211 in 133 games last season, but belted a career-high 21 homers and drove in 53 runs.

The 29-year-old veteran, who played the first five years of his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers, is considered a top defensive catcher. He threw out 24 percent of potential base stealers last season and can handle a pitching staff.

Martin is a career .260 hitter with 93 homers and 418 runs batted in. He was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008 with Los Angeles, then again in 2011 with the Yankees.

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