The Yankees and incumbent catcher, Russell Martin discussed a multi-year deal during this off-season. The 29-year-old backstop rebounded in a big way last season as a member of the Yankees. Martin hit 18 HRs and drove in 65 runs in 125 games. More importantly, Martin was excellent with the younger Yankee pitchers. Martin, who is owed $8 million in 2012, is set to become a free-agent in 2013. Some of Martin’s counterparts are starting to secure multi-year contract extensions. And to be clear–Martin’s services won’t come cheaply if he continues to perform.

AP Photo

We have been reading reports that the Cardinals and 28-year-old catcher, Yadier Molina are closing in on a five-year, $75 million deal. If this deal is infact accurate, Molina will be the second highest paid catcher of all-time, trailing Joe Mauer. Personally, I believe this deal is absolutely insane for a catcher who isn’t special with the bat and will be entering his 30s. Anyway. To compare Molina and Martin, let’s turn our attention to the yearly WAR graph to analyze each player’s value:

Thanks, Fangraphs.

 
As shown, Molina’s value has been steadily increasing while Martin’s value has been a little erratic. Blame Martin’s volitility on injuries, but when healthy, Martin is nearly as valuable as Molina is. Add in Martin’s determination to be on the Yankees and the team’s willingness to move Jesus Montero proves the Yankees like Martin. We’ll see how much he and the Yankees like each other next off-season, but if the current market carries over, Martin will not be wearing pinstripes in 2013. Plus, the Yankees have an abundance of catching options in the minor leagues. While not all of these options are major league ready, they give the Yankees leverage in any potential negociation with Martin.