Yankees discussed trading for Russell Martin

The Yankees and Dodgers talked about a trade that would have sent Russell Martin to New York in exchange for Francisco Cervelli, going so far as to exchange medical information on Martin, The New York Times reported Thursday.

But those talks, which heated up on Wednesday, stalled out when the Yankees had concerns about Martin’s health. 
The Yankees have been interested in Martin for some time but have had concerns about his health. Martin, 27, was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008 but did not play after Aug. 3 last season because of a right hip fracture.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers were concerned that if they went to arbitration with Martin, and kept him, he would receive an increase over the $5 million he was paid in 2010. Cervelli, who made a little over $400,000 in 2010, would cost Los Angeles much less.

The Dodgers and the Yankees went so far as to exchange medical files on Martin, but the Yankees had too many concerns about Martin’s health and told the Dodgers they would not go ahead with the trade.

The Dodgers, who had also tried to trade Martin to other teams, instead decided Thursday night not to tender him a contract, and he became a free agent.

The Yankees’ current plan is to have Jesus Montero, Cervelli and Austin Romine in camp competing to prove they should be the catcher, with Jorge Posada preparing as a catcher but more likely starting the year as a designated hitter. 
Here’s what Brian Cashman said recently on the YES Network:
“We are not handing the jobs to anybody. They have to be earned. These players have put themselves in the position to get a good, strong look. If there’s another opportunity out there that maybe allows us to not put all our eggs in one basket that makes sense, then we might pursue that as well. We do believe we have catchers that are ready to battle, but they’re going to have to do the work.”

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