Yanks officially ink Canuck catcher

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 12:19 PM ET

NEW YORK -- The New York Yankees have signed catcher Russell Martin to a one-year contract.

Martin became a free agent when the Los Angeles Dodgers failed to tender him a contract earlier this offseason. He played in just 97 games in 2010 before a broken hip cut his season short in August.

The 27-year-old veteran spent his first five big league seasons with Los Angeles and was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008. After batting .293 with 19 homers and 87 runs batted in during the 2007 campaign, his production has slipped each year since. He hit just .248 with five homers and 26 RBI last year.

In 667 career games, he is a .272 hitter with 54 homers and 300 runs batted in. He won a Gold Glove in 2007 and has thrown out 25.9 percent of potential base stealers since 2006.

The Yankees have begun to take an alternate course in reshaping their roster after losing out on the Cliff Lee sweepstakes. The ace lefty, who was the central figure in New York's offseason plans, signed with Philadelphia earlier this week.

A healthy Martin would likely become the starting catcher after the Yankees said earlier this offseason that veteran Jorge Posada would spend the majority of his 2011 campaign as the designated hitter. New York also has Francisco Cervelli on its roster and top prospects Jesus Montero and Austin Romine set to compete in spring training.

However, Montero or Romine could be used in a package that could net the Yankees a starting pitcher in a trade.


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