Over a quarter of the season has passed so it is time for the inevitable Russell Martin and Francisco Cervelli comparison.
Of course the big thing to note about the players is that Martin is making $7 Million this year (first
year of an $82 Million 5 year contract) while Cervelli is making $1 Million this year entering
arbitration next year.
Martin is Batting .267/.353/.473 with 7 HRs, 11 doubles a triple 24 RBIs, and 29 Runs over 190
plate appearances. If he was doing that in Pittsburgh I would be extremely happy.
Cervelli is batting .314/.385/.393 with 1 HR, 8 doubles 14 RBIs and 15 Runs over 157 plate
appearances. While I would like some more power.. I am very happy with that with the associated
price tag comparison.
Martin has a .997 fielding percentage with 1 error in 345 chances in 383 innings. He also leads the
AL (and MLB) in the number of players caught stealing at 18 at 50%. Pretty amazing, he also
played a couple innings at second base this year. I am sure Russell loved that.
Cervelli is .994 fielding percentage with 2 errors in 343 chances in 348 innings. Cervelli is also
among the league leaders in caught stealing with 13 but with only a 28% rate. League average is
28%. This is pretty run of the mill for catchers. Base runners are testing him for sure, they will
continue to do so until he proves he can throw them out.
Offense is kinda a wash right now, with Martin having more power and Cervelli better average but
Martin is clearly a superior defensive catcher.
The real question who has the better value? Over
this year probably Martin so far (given $7 Million) but if you take in to account the length and overall
cost of Martin's contract Cervelli gets the win here. Cervelli is still in his arbitration years and will
probably hit a max of $5 million next year and under $10 million for 2017 assuming he keeps up
this pace and does not get injured. Next year Russell Martian's contract goes to $15 million and
then $20 million a year in 2017 through 2019.
I love Russell Martin, I wish he would have stayed in the black and gold, but so far Cervelli has
provided better value.