The weather outside continues to get colder, but the proverbial stove is burning hot with free agent rumors and signings throughout Major League cities across the country.
The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent catcher Russell Martin to a five year contract worth US $82 million dollars. As part of his contract, Martin will make a donation to the Jays Care Foundation on an annual basis.
Martin, 31, hit .290 last season for the Pittsburgh Pirates with 20 doubles, 11 home runs and 67 RBI in 111 games with an on-base percentage of .402. The 5-10, 205lb. right-handed hitter threw out 28 of 87 (32.2%) base-stealers last season. The East York, Ontario native has a career batting average of .268 over nine seasons in the Major Leagues with 119 home runs and 540 RBI in 1,163 games played for the Los Angeles Dodgers (2006-2010), the New York Yankees (2011-2012) and Pittsburgh Pirates (2013-2014). A three time all-star, Martin who resides in Chelsea, Quebec has participated in post-season play during seven of his nine seasons and in 2007 captured both Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards.
Panda in Sox?
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval was seen in Boston Monday night. The Red Sox brass has been said to be all in the three time World Series champ. Sandoval is a switch hitting power RBI guy. The 28 year old hit 16 HR and 73 RBI in 157 games for San Francisco. He his looing for a multi year lucrative contract.
The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals completed a four-player trade today, as the Braves have acquired right-handed pitcher Shelby Miller and minor-league right-handed pitcher Tyrell Jenkins in exchange for outfielder Jason Heyward and right-handed pitcher Jordan Walden.
Miller, 24, was selected by the Cardinals in the first round (19th overall) of the 2009 First-Year Player draft out of Brownwood (Texas) High School. The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder has compiled a 26-18 (.591) record with a 3.33 ERA in 69 career Major League outings (63 starts) and 370 innings pitched. He has started 31 games in each of his first two full seasons.
Miller went 10-9 with a 3.74 ERA in 2014, when he established personal single‐season highs with 183.0 innings pitched, 32 appearances and 14 quality starts. He ranked 10th in the National League with a .236 opponents' batting average and was also 10th in fewest hits allowed per 9 IP (7.87).
In 2013, Miller went 15-9 with a 3.06 ERA (10th in NL) and fanned 169 batters in 173.1 innings. He tied for 13th in the N.L. with a .234 opponents' batting average. His 15 wins topped all MLB rookies and he finished third in N.L. Rookie of Year voting while also earning 2013 All-Rookie selection by Baseball Digest & Baseball America.
Miller owns a career mark of 6‐0 with a 2.14 ERA in 10 starts (15 appearances/67.1 IP) in the month of September, including 2‐0, 1.48 ERA (30.1 IP/5 ER) in five September starts in 2014. He led the N.L. and tied for the MLB lead with 13 sacrifice bunts in 2014, when he ranked tied for seventh among all N.L. pitchers with a .188 batting average.
Jenkins, 22, was selected by the Cardinals in the supplemental round (50th overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of Henderson (Texas) High School. The 6-foot-4, 180-pound righty went 6-5 with a 3.28 ERA in 13 starts for Class-A Palm Beach in 2014. He pitched for Peoria in the recently-completed Arizona Fall League and posted a 2.22 ERA with 28 strikeouts in six starts (24.1 innings).
Jenkins' overall career record stands at 18-15 with a 4.23 ERA and 218 strikeouts in 274.2 innings.
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