Yankees and Red Sox battling over Russell Martin

July 25, 2010 - Los Angeles, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02261133 Los Angeles Dodgers' Russell Martin hits a one run double to give his team the lead during eighth inning of a Major League baseball game against the New York Mets in Los Angeles, California, USA, 25 July 2010. Dodgers won 1-0.

The Yankees and Red Sox have their eyes set on the same catcher reports ESPN’s Buster Olney.

Via his Twitter page, Olney writes that the Yankees are “taking an aggressive approach” in negotiations with Russell Martin, who batted just .248 with five home runs, 48 RBI and 45 runs scored in an injury plagued 2010 season. He wound up with only 331 at bats, which was a career-low for the Dodger backstop.

But while the Bombers may be aggressively pursuing Martin, Olney said Thursday that the Red Sox were still the favorites to land him. The Blue Jays are also in the mix, as is least one other unidentified team according to Rotoworld.com.

The Yankees want to make Jorge Posada their full-time DH, which would open up a spot for Martin behind the plate. If they were to acquire him, Jesus Montero would likely stay at Triple-A in order to gain more seasoning.

Martin’s numbers have steadily declined since 2009. That year, he slumped while hitting only .250 with seven home runs in 143 games, which were the weakest totals in his four-year career. In August last year, he suffered a torn labrum in his right hip while trying to avoid a tag at home plate in a game against the Padres and he missed the rest of the season with the injury.

Seeing as how he’s only 27, he has plenty of time to turn around his career and maybe a change of scenery would do him well. That said, changing leagues is no easy task for a hitter that has played his entire career in the National League.

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