Martin’s deal with the Yankees is for a $4 million base salary
That’s of note because the Dodgers had offered him a $4.2m salary before non-tendering him; reports were that Martin was holding out for $5m. So let’s extrapolate a few things from that:
First, despite what we’d heard about Ned Colletti having interest in bringing Martin back, the $4.2m offer appears to have been “take it or leave it” and expired once the non-tender deadline passed. As Eric Stephen notes, that assumption is validated somewhat by the fact that Rod Barajas had his deal in place about 30 seconds after Martin was non-tendered, which I imagine the club must have been using as leverage in talks with Martin.
Second, it looks like Martin overvalued his worth, which is hard to do in this winter of crazy spending. We knew that the Yankees, Red Sox, and Blue Jays were all in on Martin, and that the Red Sox ended up not offering as much as the Yankees did. I don’t know what the Jays were offering, but it’s doubtful they were topping both the Sox and Yankees, so when Martin spurned the $4.2m offer from the Dodgers, that may have been a mistake.
Finally, this does somewhat validate the team’s decision to non-tender Martin. Had he been tendered a contract and gone to arbitration, he would have made $5m at the very least and possibly up to $6m. I’d said all along that was too much to risk on an injured catcher, and they appear to have read the market correctly.
Now all that being said… we’re still suck with Barajas and Dioner Navarro, who officially signed his one year, $1m contract yesterday. Does someone want to tell me how in the hell Navarro got more than the major league minimum? Not that the extra $500k or so is a big deal in the long run, but you really had to sweeten the pot for him? Why, to buy him away from his Plan B, fry cook at Long John Silver’s?
* The caveat to all this is of course that we don’t know what kind of incentives are included in Martin’s Yankee contract. As we saw with Vicente Padilla, incentives can be several times the guaranteed base value of the contract. Still, Martin is guaranteed less than he would have been as a Dodger.