The Toronto Blue Jays traded veteran catcher Russell Martin to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday for shortstop Ronny Brito, right-hander Andrew Sopko and cash considerations.
Martin signed a five-year contract worth $82 million U.S. with the Jays in November 2014. He was a key part of Toronto’s playoff runs in 2015 and 2016, but struggled offensively over the past two seasons, slashing .208/.341/.357 with a .698 OPS, 23 homers and 60 RBIs in just 181 games.
He moved around the infield in 2018, playing at third base, shortstop and left field as well as behind the dish. He even filled in for manager John Gibbons in the final game of the season.
Without Martin, Toronto’s 40-man roster includes three catchers: Luke Maile, Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire.
Martin was selected by the Dodgers in the 17th round of the 2002 MLB draft and spent the first five seasons of his career with the club.
News broke earlier this off-season that the Jays were shopping the 35-year-old catcher and general manager Ross Atkins did little to dispel that notion last month.
“I think that any team that is looking for catchers would have an interest in Russ,” Atkins said at the time. “The market for catching is certainly there and Russ has a great track record.
Atkins admitted Martin, eligible for free agency in 2020, would likely be more attractive to clubs if Toronto was willing to eat some of his salary.
Laura Armstrong is a sports reporter based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @lauraarmy