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Russell Nathan Coltrane Jeanson Martin Jr. is a Canadian professional baseball catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He has actually previously played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates, and is a four-time MLB All-Star. In 2007, Martin won the Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award.
Martin ended up being the daily catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers immediately upon his MLB debut in 2006, and continued because role for nearly five years. His offensive and defensive performance earned wide honors throughout his first three years, however they decreased substantially in 2009 and 2010; Martin spent the last 2 months of 2010 on the disabled list. After the Dodgers declined to use him arbitration in 2011, he signed with the Yankees and succeeded Jorge Posada as the Yankees’ everyday catcher.
In November 2012, Martin signed a two-year free agent contract with the Pirates and took control of the team’s daily catcher responsibilities. Following the 2014 season, he signed a five-year, $82 million contract with his hometown Blue Jays.
Martin was chosen in the 35th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball draft by the Montreal Expos, but did not sign. He then went to Chipola College for two years where he met future teammate José Bautista, prior to being chosen in the 17th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Drafted as a third baseman, Martin played his first professional season with the Gulf Coast Dodgers, and hit .286 with 10 RBI in 41 games. In the offseason, he was transformed to a catcher. Martin played the 2003 minor league season with the Ogden Raptors, and was later on promoted to the Class-A South Georgia Waves. In 77 combined games, he batted .276 with 9 home runs and 50 RBI.
On November 18, 2014, the Toronto Blue Jays announced that they had signed Martin to a five-year, $82 million contract. Early in spring training, manager John Gibbons told reporters that Martin would be R. A. Dickey’s catcher during practice and in preseason games, to offer him the opportunity to practice catching Dickey’s knuckleball. Martin got a standing ovation from the fans at Olympic Stadium on April 3, as the Blue Jays played their final two spring training games in Montreal for the second successive year. On April 19, 2015, Martin caught Jeff Francis in his debut for the Blue Jays, and in doing so formed the first all-Canadian battery in franchise history. On June 2, Martin stole home off the back end of a double steal, and became the first Blue Jay to steal home since Brett Lawrie did so in 2012. Martin established a brand-new career-high in home runs on September 26, hitting his 22nd of the season to aid the Blue Jays to a 10– 8 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. He ended the 2015 regular season with a .240 batting average, 23 home runs, and 77 RBI in 129 games. On October 29, Martin was announced as a finalist for the catcher Gold Glove award, together with Salvador Pérez and Jason Castro.
Martin appeared in 137 games for the Blue Jays in 2016, and hit .231 with 20 home runs and 74 RBI. He struggled in the postseason, recording only three hits in 33 at-bats.
On April 29, 2017, Martin ended up being the 15th catcher to record 10,000 career putouts at the position.