Jays trade C Martin to Dodgers for SS Brito, RHP Sopko

Annette Crawford
January 12, 2019

The 35-year-old is in the final year of a five-year contract and is slated to earn $20 million in 2019. The Dodgers acquired Martin from the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon in exchange for righthander Andrew Sopko and infielder Ronny Brito. That will be offset against the $20 million that he's owed for 2019 by the Blue Jays, who are also on the hook to pay him $14 million for 2020 along with a $4-million buyout of a 2021 team option.

The addition of Martin shouldn't strictly take the Dodgers out of the running for Marlins star J.T. Realmuto, though there's certainly less urgency for Los Angeles to meet Miami's lofty asking price with this deal in place.

Martin, a Toronto native, appeared in 90 games last season for the Jays and had one of the worst offensive seasons of his career, finishing with 10 homers and 25 RBIs. A veteran presence - Martin caught 667 games for the Dodgers from 2006 to 2010. He also posted a career-low.194 batting average with a.338 on-base percentage. But, if he's able to correct either of those issues in a return to Chavez Ravine, he'll give the Dodgers a high-quality defender with excellent on-base skills.

Once one of baseball's top backstops, age has caught up to Martin in recent seasons.

They dealt two prospects to Toronto for Russell Martin, a former Dodger who can bridge the gap between the departed Yasmani Grandal and the team's two almost ready catching prospects. The move clears the way for No. 65 overall prospect Danny Jansen to assume full-time catching duties in Toronto after the 23-year-old played 31 games with the big club last year. He's quite a ways from big league relevance, but he did enjoy solid production against older competition in the Pioneer League this past season.

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. He opened the 2018 season at Class-A Advanced and ascended to Double-A midway through the season.

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