Detroit Tigers Rumors: 5 Possible Free-Agent Targets In 2015

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Sep 21, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin (55) hits an RBI single against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Russell Martin

Opposite of the Detroit Tigers pitchers mound lies the questions behind home plate. Current catcher, Alex Avila has battled concussions in 2014, but was a solid contributor to the club. In 124 games, Avila compiled a 2.1 WAR. However given his injury history, his future in Detroit may be up in the air.

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Enter Russell Martin.

Martin, 31, is right-handed catcher who is reaching free agency after playing some outstanding baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates over the last two seasons. Martin has posted medium-to-low batting averages, higher on-base percentages, and had a career year in 2014. He also  carries the reputation of being elite defensively, so this could be one way to upgrade the team’s offense, defense, and pitching.

On a Tigers team that often had players with marginal on-base percentages at the top of the order, Martin’s high walk rate would be a welcome addition. However, unless Avila is traded, he will be back with the Tigers in 2015.