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yankees

Who Needs Cliff Lee? The Yankees Have Russell Martin

As had been rumored, the Yankees officially signed former Dodgers catcher Russell Martin, partly to back up Jorge Posada but mostly to give the team flexibility to have Posada DH or sit when they need him to. A couple of years ago, it would have seemed absurd that Martin would be a backup anywhere: In 2007, he hit nineteen homers, stole 21 bases, made the All-Star team, and won a Gold Glove. The last two years, though, injuries have sapped him of his power and speed. Still, even last season, the worst of his career, he had a higher on-base percentage than, say, Derek Jeter. Best case, he rediscovers his stroke and health and the Yankees have themselves a grand bargain. Worst case, they non-tender him — like the Dodgers just did — at mid-season, and Jesus Montero takes over. Either way, his addition totally makes up for missing out on Cliff Lee, without question.

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Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images