Remember a few years ago when a series of secondary Yankees seemed to landed on the Pirates roster? Most were relatively small names — guys like Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett — and a lot of them went in that Damaso Marte/Xavier Nady trade, but there were a handful of familiar names in Pittsburgh.
Now it seems the Pirates are going after someone the Yankees truly want.
Jon Heyman reports that the Pirates are thought to be the front-runners for Russell Martin, and they might be willing to significantly outbid the Yankees. From Heyman’s story:
The Rangers and Mariners are two more possible suitors for Martin, but his choice appears likely to come down to the Yankees and Pirates. And he is expected to make that choice sometime within the next several days, perhaps before the Winter Meetings, which will begin Monday in Nashville, Tenn.
Of course, the Yankees have plenty of backup options — and they have Austin Romine still carrying some upper-level prospect status — but the catching market is thin, and losing Martin would be a significant blow. Mike Napoli isn’t much of a catcher, and A.J. Pierzynski is certainly the next-best option out there.