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Hot Stove: Russell Martin leaves Yankees for Pirates 11.30.12 at 9:18 am ET
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Catcher Russell Martin reportedly has a two-year, $17 million contract with the Pirates after spending the last two years with the Yankees.

Tweeted Martin on Thursday night: I want to thank the @yankees organization and fans for treating me with class and respect… I will truly miss the city and people of NY.

Martin, 29, hit .211 with a .311 on-base percentage, a .403 slugging percentage, 21 home runs and 53 RBIs in 133 games last season. His batting average has declined each of the last five seasons after he hit .293 for the Dodgers in his first All-Star season of 2007.

Martin will replace Rod Barajas, who hit .206/.283/.343 with 11 homers and 31 RBIs and threw out just 6 percent of potential base-stealers in his one season in Pittsburgh.

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Saturday’s Game 2 Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Freddy Garcia 07.07.12 at 4:35 pm ET
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Felix Doubront

Felix Doubront will start the second game of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader for the Red Sox against the division-leading Yankees.

In his last start, Doubront (8-4, 4.42) allowed one run through 4 1/3 innings as the Red Sox defeated Seattle 2-1. Doubront did not factor in the decision, however.

June 20 is the last time he won a start. Doubront pitched six innings of four-run baseball en route to a 15-5 victory over the Marlins on that day.

The 24-year-old started against the Yankees on April 21, when he allowed one run through six innings in an eventual 15-9 Red Sox loss. Doubront has faced nine members of New York’s current lineup, but none more than six times.

Freddy Garcia, who is filling in as a starter for the injured CC Sabathia, last started on July 2. He pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed two runs as the Yankees fell to the Rays 4-3. Garcia (2-2, 5.94) did not factor in the decision.

The 36-year-old also started against the Red Sox and Doubront on April 21. Although the Yankees eventually won, Garcia only lasted 1 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on seven hits.

Of the 10 Boston batters who have faced Garcia, designated hitter David Ortiz has the most experience. In 42 appearances against the righty, Ortiz has a .300 batting average, two home runs, five doubles and 7 RBIs. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saturday’s Game 1 Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Franklin Morales vs. Phil Hughes at 7:58 am ET
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Franklin Morales

Franklin Morales will face the Yankees and Phil Hughes on Saturday afternoon to start a day-night doubleheader in the second game of a four-game series between the Red Sox and Yankees.

Morales (1-1, 2.51) has made three starts this season, filling in for various injured Red Sox starting pitchers. Morales last pitched on July 4, tossing 1 1/3 innings and allowing no runs or hits against the Athletics.

The 26-year-old made his last start on June 28, when he pitched seven innings and allowed zero runs en route to a 1-0 loss to Seattle. It marked the only time during Morales’ three starts when the Red Sox lost.

Morales pitched against the Yankees on April 21, throwing two-thirds of an inning and allowing one earned run as the Red Sox lost 15-9.

Hughes (9-6, 4-29), who is on a two-game winning streak, will take the mound against the Red Sox for the first time this season. He lost one game in his last six starts, a 10-5 loss to the Braves. In that game Hughes allowed six runs and four home runs in 4 1/3 innings.

In his last win Hughes pitched eight innings of two-run baseball en route to a 4-2 victory over the White Sox. Prior to that Hughes pitched eight innings against the Indians and allowed zero runs as the Yankees won 6-4.

Nine current Red Sox have faced the Yankees pitcher, but only David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia have faced Hughes more than three times. In 21 appearances Ortiz has recorded two home runs and seven RBIs, while Pedroia has batted in four runs in 20 appearances. Read the rest of this entry »

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Russell Martin: The Red Sox were ‘iffy’ on me 04.09.11 at 6:41 pm ET
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Russell Martin says he holds no grudges against the Red Sox.

But you certainly couldn’t prove it by the show he put on Saturday at Fenway Park, belting two homers to the Monster seats in left as part of a four-homer barrage that led the Yankees over the Red Sox, 9-4.

Martin afterward acknowledged the Red Sox tested the waters on the veteran catcher as a back-up but were scared off by the torn labrum in his right hip from last August – the same injury that slowed Mike Lowell over his last two seasons in Boston.

“The Red Sox, I think they were a little iffy with the injuries that I had and they weren’t too sure,” Martin said. “It was one of those injuries that hadn’t happened in baseball. The Yankees took the chance and hopefully, I’ll make it a good one for them.”

The Red Sox decided on keeping Jarrod Saltalamacchia, who has mirrored many in the Boston lineup with a slow start. Salty went 1-for-4 Saturday which actually raised his average to .182 in eight games as the first-string catcher.

The Yankees, on the other hand, were not as picky as the Red Sox and felt they needed a veteran presence behind the plate to finally take some of the load off Jorge Posada until prospect Jesus Montero is ready. Call Martin a “bridge” catcher.

“I hadn’t played since August,” Martin said. “I was injured but I did the right things to get back healthy and I feel fresh.

“My focus is just going out there and giving my best effort every day. With this lineup, you feel like you’re protected anywhere you hit, and that’s a little bit different than the last couple of years. I feel comfortable wherever I hit in the lineup and I’m just trying to put good swings on the ball.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Yankees sign Russell Martin; Sox had limited interest 12.14.10 at 11:20 am ET
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According to multiple reports, the Yankees have reached an agreement to sign catcher Russell Martin. Martin hit .248/.347/.322 with five homers in 2010 before a hip injury ended his season with the Dodgers in mid-August. The Dodgers did not tender him a contract earlier this month, fearing they would have to give the arbitration-eligible catcher a raise on the $5.05 million he earned last year.

The Red Sox were also interested in Martin, but their discussions with him were primarily as a depth option in case either Jarrod Saltalamacchia or Jason Varitek was injured in spring training. A source familiar with the discussions suggested that the Sox discussed a deal that featured little guaranteed money with the 28-year-old.

Martin’s batting average and OPS has gone down in each of the last three years. But he is also a two-time All-Star who as recently as two seasons ago was regarded as one of the best all-around catchers in the game, and at 28, he remains young enough that there could be upside.

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