CUBS REGARDED AS FAVORITE TO SIGN RUSSELL MARTIN
The Pittsburgh Pirates announced this afternoon they have made qualifying offers ($15.3 million) to catcher Russell Martin and starting pitcher Francisco Liriano.
Martin will decline but there is a slight possibility that Liriano, who made $6 million last season, will accept. The QO will certainly hurt Liriano’s market value. The 31 year old is seeking a three year deal.
Lirano went 23-18 with a 3.20 ERA in two seasons with the Pirates.
The Pirates are prepared to make what they feel will be a substantial offer to Martin of at least three years. Internally, though, there is not much optimism Martin will be back.
The Pirates fear Martin will end up with the Chicago Cubs who are prepared to make a big play for the star catcher. Martin covets a deal of at least four years and his camp believes Martin will be in line for a five year deal in free agency.