Blue Jays trading catcher Russell Martin to Dodgers

Russell Martin Traded To Dodgers, Scouting Reports On Andrew Spoko, Ronny Brito

The Blue Jays acquired Minor Leaguers Ronny Brito and Andrew Sopko from the Dodgers in exchange for the veteran Major League catcher, both clubs announced Friday.

Martin, 35, began his big league career as a Dodger in 2006 after being selected by Los Angeles in the 17 round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft.

Like the Tulowitzki decision, Toronto will be eating a lot of Martin's salary. The right-handed pitcher split time between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Tulsa in 2018, going a combined 6-5 with a 3.53 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in 26 games (22 starts). Jansen will team with 27-year-old Luke Maile, a strong defensive backstop who had a career-best.248/.333/.366 batting line in 231 plate appearances last season.

The Dodgers drafted Sopko in the seventh round in 2015 out of Gonzaga.

Martin signed with Toronto as a free agent in November 2014.

Martin enters his age-36 season, coming off a 2018 in which he hit.194 with a.338 on-base average; good for a.663 OPS for Toronto. He helped the Blue Jays make back-to-back American League Championship Series appearances in 2015 and 2016. While last season's.194/.338/.325 batting line obviously looks ugly, Martin walked at a almost 16 percent clip, one of the highest rates in the league, and demonstrated that he still has a bit of pop - certainly enough to make him comparable to other catchers throughout the game.

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The four-time all-star has also played for the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates over his 13-year big-league career.

Martin is owed $20 million in 2019, although his number that goes against the luxury tax is a bit lower at $16.4 million.

Toronto is in full teardown mode after two straight disappointing seasons.

The Dodgers were known to be in the marking for a catcher as their own Yasmani Grandal was a free agent this winter, and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this week on a one year, 18.25 million dollar deal.

The Blue Jays have been stockpiling prospects and will field a young team in 2019 with an eye to returning to contention two or three years down the road.

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