Los Angeles

Dodgers Acquire Old Friend Russell Martin in Trade With Blue Jays

The Los Angeles Dodgers have reacquired catcher Russell Martin in a trade with Toronto, a day after losing free agent Yasmani Grandal to Milwaukee.

The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired catcher Russell Martin and cash considerations from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Andrew Sopko and minor league infielder Ronny Brito.

The trade reunites Martin with the Dodgers, the team that first drafted Martin in the 17th round of the 2002 MLB Draft. The 35-year-old was a four-time All-Star with the Dodgers from 2006-2010 and helped lead Los Angeles to three playoff appearances.

The Canadian native spent the last four seasons in Toronto, and the Blue Jays will reportedly send cash to the Dodgers to offset some of the remaining $20 million owed to Martin in the final year of his contract in 2019.

The move comes on the heels of former starting catcher, Yasmani Grandal, agreeing to a one-year, $18.25 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

In 2018, Martin made 89 starts behind the plate and at third base for the Blue Jays, slashing .194/.338/.325 with 10 home runs and 35 RBI.

The upcoming season will be Martin’s 14th in the Major Leagues and he owns a career slashline of .249/.349/.399 with 185 homers and 751 RBI with the Dodgers (2006-10), Yankees (2011-12), Pirates (2013-14) and Blue Jays (2015-18). 

Overall, Martin’s teams have made the Postseason nine times in 13 years and he has caught 1,519 games (1,455 starts), which ranks third among active players, trailing just Yadier Molina (1,836) and Brian McCann (1,529). He won both the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards in 2007, and in 2013 and 2014, he was named the Wilson Defensive Catcher of the Year.


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Sopko, 24, was selected by the Dodgers in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB Draft from Gonzaga and has a career 27-17 minor league record with a 3.61 ERA (158 ER/394.1 IP) and 363 strikeouts against 112 walks over four minor league seasons. 

Brito, 19, signed with the Dodgers as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic on July 2, 2015 and has a career minor league slashline of .259/.339/.418 with 15 homers and 104 RBIs over three minor league seasons.

Arash Madani of SportsNet Canada was the first to report the trade:

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