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Victor Martinez Close to Deal with the Tigers

The switch-hitting catcher, Victor Martinez, entered the market as an attractive option for teams looking to add an elite offensive catcher. However, V-Mart could become the first big free agent signing in this offseason, as according to ESPN the 31-year-old player is close to a four year contract and $ 50 million deal with the Detroit Tigers.

BACKSTOP: V-Mart turns his back on Cleveland.

BACKSTOP: V-Mart turns his back on Cleveland.fans should take into consideration that Martinez, in his first full season with the Boston Red Sox, hit .302 with 20 homers and led all catchers in RBI with 79, despite that his injuries allowed him to play only in 127 games of 162.

In fantasy, Martinez is one of the most productive catchers and is among the quality catchers to consider heading into the 2011 season. V-Mart is ranked at the second place in the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Catcher Rankings, one position higher than Brian McCann.

In addition, Martinez is a four-time All-Star and his arrival to the Detroit Tigers should not change his good situation. Probably the Tigers will make use of V-Mart as their primary catcher, considering that Alex Avila, a second-year player, is the only catcher on their current roster.

Martinez also can be used at designated hitter and at first base whenever Miguel Cabrera needs a break.

In his nine-year career with the Cleveland Indians and the Red Sox, Martinez hit .300 with 131 homers and 638 RBIs. Undoubtedly, the offensive catcher will provide better value to the Tigers team than previous years.

On the other hand, during the summer Martinez declined Boston’s offer of a three-year, $36 million deal, but what is clear is that the free agent was looking for a better deal.

After finishing the season, besides the Red Sox, the Detroit Tigers, the Baltimore Orioles and the Colorado Rockies were also interested in the catcher. But V-Mart will return to the AL Central, where he played for the Cleveland Indians from 2002 to 2009, when he was traded to the Red Sox.

Finally, the other three big free-agent hitters remain on the market: Carl Crawford and Adam Dunn, who are left-handed hitters, and Jayson Werth, who hits right-handed.

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