Blue Jays trade Russell Martin to Dodgers

Ruben Hill
January 12, 2019

It felt like it was just a matter of time before the Blue Jays would move on Russell Martin this winter, and that's exactly what happened on Friday afternoon, as it was announced that he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sopko, 24, split last season between between high-A Rancho Cucamonga and double-A Tulsa, posting a 3.52 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 27 walks over 117.2 innings pitched combined. It is presumed, however, that the Blue Jays will be eating a good portion of Martin's $20 million salary for 2019.

The soon-to-be 36-year-old Martin spent the first five years of his career with the Dodgers, appearing in two All-Star Games and winning a Gold Glove during his tenure. Sopko was not ranked among the Dodgers' top 30 prospects by MLB.com. He helped the Blue Jays make back-to-back American League Championship Series appearances in 2015 and 2016. The catcher, who turns 36 on February 15, hit.194/.338/.325 with 10 homers in 90 games last season for the Blue Jays and is considered an above-average framer behind the plate.

Once one of baseball's top backstops, age has caught up to Martin in recent seasons. He'll pair with Austin Barnes behind the plate for L.A. after free agent Yasmani Grandal reportedly signed with the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday.

Tulowitzki recently signed with the Yankees for the major-league minimum of $555,000.

Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith prognosticates that the Blue Jays could retain a figure within the $16-$18 million range.

The Blue Jays have been stockpiling prospects and will field a young team in 2019 with an eye to returning to contention two or three years down the road.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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