PITTSBURGH (AP) — The New York Yankees were in no hurry to re-sign catcher Russell Martin. The Pittsburgh Pirates swept in when they had the chance.
A person with knowledge of the deal says the Pirates have agreed to a $17 million, two-year contract with the three-time All-Star, hoping he can give them some pop at the plate and respectable defense behind it.
The deal is pending a physical. The person spoke Thursday night on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been announced.
The agreement was first reported by Fox Sports.
"I want to thank the (at)yankees organization and fans for treating me with class and respect... I will truly miss the city and people of NY," Martin posted on his Twitter account late Thursday.
The 29-year-old Martin hit .211 with 21 homers and 53 RBIs in 133 games last year with the Yankees, who had been concentrating on bringing back some of their free-agent pitchers so far this winter. Martin's batting average has declined in each of the last five seasons after he hit .293 and made his first All-Star game while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2007.
The signing reunites Martin with right-hander A.J. Burnett. The two played together with the Yankees in 2011 before Burnett was traded to Pittsburgh last spring.