Description: Catcher Russell Martin signed a five-year, $82 million deal with the Toronto Blue Jays on Monday.
Insight: The deal became official on Tuesday. He will receive $7 million next season, $15 million next year and $20 million the final three years. Martin is 31-years old and hit .290 with 11 home runs, 20 double and 67 RBI last season in Pittsburgh. Although it doesn't matter for fantasy, he is also one of the best defensive catchers in the league.
10/10/2014 9:00:00 PM
Description: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that catcher Russell Martin turned down a contract extension from the Pirates during the second half of the regular season.
Insight: Heyman also reported the two sides negotiated in spring training but the Pirates opted not to extend a contract offer at that point. Martin was then not interested in the middle of the season. The catcher batted .290 with 11 home runs and 67 RBI while being a leader behind the plate the last two years for Pittsburgh. He will have many suitors this winter.
10/1/2014 5:12:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin (groin) is in the lineup Wednesday versus San Francisco.
Insight: There was little doubt that he would miss the Wild Card Game, however Martin is now officially active, and batting fourth for Pittsburgh. One other note is Gaby Sanchez gets the start against Giants' lefty Madison Bumgarner
9/30/2014 8:25:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is expected to start Wednesday's Wild Card game against the Giants according to Mercury News.
Insight: Martin left Friday's game after reinjurying his left hamstring. He did not return the entire weekend, but that will not keep him out of the single elimination Wild Card affair on Wednesday. Pittsburgh still plans to carry a third catcher just in case.
9/28/2014 11:37:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin (hamstring) remains out of lineup Sunday.
Insight: With Pittsburgh attempting to capture the NL Central, they will be without their starting catcher yet again. Martin should be ready for postseason play, but Chris Stewart gets the nod today.
9/27/2014 10:09:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Friday's game against the Reds in the seventh reaggravated his hamstring and with a poor matchup on Saturday he's not likely to be in the starting lineup.
Insight: martin is just 1-for-11 against Alfredo Simon. He will likely not play the rest of the weekend to ensure he is healthy for the playoffs.
9/26/2014 9:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Friday's game against the Reds in the seventh after a walk.
Insight: It was hard to tell because he left after not swinging or running, but it appears that Martin may have reaggravated his hamstring. The camera caught Martin going into the clubhouse very unhappy and grimacing. He will likely not play the rest of the weekend to ensure he is healthy for the playoffs.
9/25/2014 5:18:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is back in the lineup after leaving Wednesday's game against the Braves.
Insight: He had some hamstring tightness, but it looks like Pittsburgh was just playing it safe. Martin is hitting fifth against Atlanta starter David Hale.
9/24/2014 9:31:00 PM
Description: Updating on a previous item: Pirates catcher Russell Martin left Wednesday's contest with left hamstring tightness, according to Bill Brink.
Insight: Hamstring injuries are never an easy injury to deal with, but hopefully Pittsburgh is just playing it safe with Martin, as they have a playoff spot already locked up.
9/24/2014 8:50:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was removed from Wednesday's game against Atlanta with a potential ankle injury, according to Bill Brink.
Insight: Martin was attemting to get back to first base, when the injury appeared to happen. Chris Stewart replaced him, in the bottom of the fifth inning. We should have a firm update shortly.
9/22/2014 12:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .471 hitter (8-for-17) against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Martin has put together an excellent season batting .297 with 11 HR, 67 RBI and an .850 OPS. He's on a 12-game hitting streak. Hot hitter plus favorable matchup equals must start.
9/21/2014 6:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin had the game-winning RBI single in the, 1-0, victory over the Brewers on Sunday.
Insight: Martin accounted for four of the five runs Pittsburgh scored in the series against Milwaukee. Martin hit a 3-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to win on Friday. Pittsburgh took two of three from Milwaukee to increase its wild card lead. Martin has a 12-game hitting streak.
9/19/2014 10:15:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth to rally the Pirates over the Brewers, 4-2, on Friday.
Insight: Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo held the Pirates scoreless for seven innings and gave way to relief pitcher Jonathan Broxton. Left fielder Starling Marte and pinch runner Chase d'Arnaud scored on Martin's homer to right center field. Pittsburgh added an insurance run later in the inning. The pending free agent is hitting .296 with 11 home runs and 66 RBI this season.
9/16/2014 10:55:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin hit a two-run home run as Pittsburgh shutout Boston, 4-0.
Insight: The homer was Martin's 10th of the year and came in the second inning as the first runs of the game. The catcher finished the game 1-for-4. Martin is batting .294 with 63 RBI to go with his 10 homers.
9/14/2014 9:57:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin went 2-for-3 with a bases clearing double in the eighth on Saturday, but the Pirates still lost to the Cubs, 6-4.
Insight: Martin drove in Josh Harrison, Jordy Mercer and Neil Walker with his double to left field. At the time, the Pirates trailed 6-0. Martin has been awesome for Pittsburgh this year, hitting .294 with nine home runs and 61 RBI in 343 at-bats. The catcher looks poised to test free agency this winter.
9/12/2014 6:08:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is not in the lineup on Friday against the Cubs.
Insight: Martin is having a tremendous season both offensively and defensively. Friday is just a normal day of rest for the catcher. Chris Stewart will start behind the plate on Friday.
9/9/2014 10:22:00 PM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI against the Phillies on Tuesday.
Insight: Martin did get thrown out trying to extend a single into a double in the second inning and failed to throw out two base stealers, but for fantasy purposes, he had a good game. Martin would have likely scored in the second as well, and the Pirates lost by one. Martin is 5-for-13 (.385) in his last three games.
9/3/2014 9:51:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .258 hitter, but a .385 hitter (5-for-13) against Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller.
Insight: Batting in the heart of the Pirates lineup, mostly fifth, has been good for Martin, who is hitting .324 over the past four weeks, including a home run Tuesday night and .292 for the season. Start him.
8/29/2014 9:48:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .258 hitter, but a .370 hitter against Reds starter Mike Leake.
Insight: Batting in the heart of the Pirates lineup, mostly fifth, has been good for Martin, who is hitting .347 over the past four weeks and .295 for the season. Start him.
8/19/2014 10:40:00 AM
Description: Pirates catcher Russell Martin is a career .462 hitter against Braves starter Aaron Harang.
Insight: Martin has hits in 13 of his last 15 games. He is batting .282 with 18 extra-base hits, 48 RBI and a .798 OPS this season.
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