Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays made it official Tuesday and announced the signing of free agent catcher Russell Martin to a five-year contract worth $82 million.
Martin, born in the Toronto suburb of East York but raised in Montreal, spent the last two seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He batted .290 with 11 home runs and 20 doubles, and drove in 67 runs while posting an on-base percentage of .402 over 111 games in 2014.
Since breaking into the majors with Los Angeles in 2006, Martin is a lifetime .259 hitter who has accumulated 119 homers, 191 doubles, 540 RBI and 550 runs scored over 1,163 appearances for the Dodgers, Yankees and Pirates.
The 31-year-old veteran is also considered a top defensive catcher and brilliant handler of a pitching staff. He threw out 32.2 percent of base stealers last season.
Martin was an All-Star with the Dodgers in 2007 and '08, then earned his third such nod in 2011 with the Yankees. He also won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2007.
His teams have reached the playoffs seven times in his nine seasons, including each of the last four years.