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Agent: Russell Martin interested in re-signing with the Dodgers

December 3, 2010 | 11:24 am

Russell Martin is open to General Manager Ned Colletti’s idea of returning to the Dodgers as a utility player, according to Martin’s agent.

“He’s interested in the opportunity the Dodgers have described,” Matt Colleran said.

Martin, a former All-Star catcher, wasn’t tendered a contract by the Dodgers on Thursday night and became a free agent. Colleran said Colletti told him he wanted to re-sign Martin to play second base, third base and the outfield, in addition to catching. In that role, Martin would likely split time behind the plate with Rod Barajas, who is close to signing a one-year deal.

Colleran said he was contacted by six teams soon after the Dodgers announced they weren’t offering him a contract for next season. One of those teams was the New York Yankees, who, according to the New York Times, attempted to trade for Martin on Thursday night.

The teams Colleran has called back are interested in Martin as a catcher.

Colleran said Martin views the upcoming season as an opportunity to reestablish his value and is in the process of determining whether he would prefer to do so as a full-time catcher or utility player.

Colleran said Martin was disappointed that a deal couldn’t be worked out with the Dodgers. Because Martin made $5.05 million last season and was in line to receive a significant raise in the arbitration process, the Dodgers would only have offered him a contract had the terms been agreed upon by the 9 p.m. Thursday tender deadline.

Colleran proposed a deal that included a base salary of $5 million and $1 million in incentives.

The Dodgers’ offer called for a base salary of $4.2 million and $1.1 million in incentives. The incentive package proposed by the Dodgers was based on games started. To receive all $1.1 million in bonus pay, Martin would have had to start 140 games. By starting anywhere from 120 to 129 games, Martin would have received $600,000 in incentives.

In Martin’s last full season, in 2009, he started 136 games.

“He’s been with the Dodgers the whole time,” Colleran said. “He was hoping it would work out.”

Colleran said Martin is recovering as expected from the fractured hip that cut his 2010 season short by two months.

Martin was cleared to run last week and is planning to head from his home in Montreal to Arizona to resume his off-season workouts.

Colleran said he doesn’t anticipate other teams having serious concerns about Martin’s health.

“Clearly, the Dodgers have a comfort level with what those medical records said,” Colleran said.

-- Dylan Hernandez

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