"We aren't trading Martin," he said. "I've never brought that up to anybody."
So says Dodgers GM Ned Colletti in response to certain media members claiming that Russell Martin is on the block.
I guess all it takes is one year of slipping numbers, and people start going crazy. Never mind the fact that Martin was once again an All-Star, his numbers went down this year, so trade him dammit! Come on people, lighten up.
As you can tell, I'm certainly not a fan of trading a guy who should be part of their nucleus for years to come. But to be objective, here's a look at his numbers the last 2 years:
2007: .293 AVG, .374 OBP, 87 R, 32 2B, 19 HR, 87 RBI, 67 BB, 21 SB
2008: .280 AVG, .385 OBP, 87 R, 25 2B, 13 HR, 69 RBI, 90 BB, 18 SB
Are his '08 numbers better? From a power standpoint, yes. From an on-base standpoint, no. To me, he should not be counted on as a power threat, but as someone who finds ways to get on base and move runners over. If that's how he should play, then he certainly did his job.
In my mind, what's made people sour on Martin is the NLCS in which things pretty much fell apart. After playing very well against the Cubs, he only went 2-17 with 7 K's against the Phillies. If you can recall, he was a victim of getting beaned a couple of times during that series, which may have completely thrown him of mentally considering how mad he got when that happened. If that's what the Phillies were trying to do, it worked.
But make no mistake about it, trading away Martin is not the way to go. His work ethic is incredible and he wants badly to win. If the Dodgers can finally get a backup catcher that is respectable enough to play 1-2 times a week to keep Martin fresh, then I expect him to play much better at the end of this upcoming season.