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Blue Jays Trade Russell Martin To Dodgers

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  • Blue Jays Trade Russell Martin To Dodgers

    Dodgers Acquire Russell Martin

    LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers re-acquired Russell Martin in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays earlier Friday, providing themselves with a veteran stopgap behind the plate until their talented prospects are ready for the major leagues.

    Martin is owed $20 million in the final year of his contract, but the Blue Jays will cover $16.4 million through cash considerations in the trade. In exchange, the Dodgers relinquished a couple of relatively undistinguished minor leaguers in starting pitcher Andrew Sopko and shortstop Ronny Brito.

    Martin, who began his career with the Dodgers from 2006 to 2010, has reached base 34 percent of the time over the past two years and has ranked within the top 9 percent in pitch-framing during that span, according to ESPN metrics. But his batting average, in a stretch of 181 games, was .208.

    Sopko, 24, posted a 3.52 ERA, a 1.48 WHIP and a 3.69 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 117⅔ innings at high A and Double-A last season. Brito, still only 19, batted .288/.352/.489 in rookie ball.

    Martin, a four-time All-Star and .249/.349/.399 career hitter, has been to the postseason in nine of his 13 seasons. His 1,519 games behind the plate ranks third among active catchers, behind only Yadier Molina and Brian McCann. Martin, who can also play third base, threw out a league-best 44 percent of would-be base-stealers in 2015, but only 17.4 percent over the next three seasons (7 percentage points below average).