Russell Martin traded to Dodgers, back to where it began

The Toronto Blue Jays traded catcher Russell Martin and cash considerations to the Los Angeles Dodgers for shortstop Ronny Brito and right-hander Andrew Sopko on Friday, the team announced.

A seventh-round pick out of Gonzaga in 2015, Sopko ranked 26th on the Dodgers' Top 30 Prospects as recently as two years ago.

Canada's Sportsnet estimated the Blue Jays will send the Dodgers $16 million to $18 million to defray the $20 million Martin is owed in 2019. The 19-year-old switch-hitter spent much of last season at short-season Ogden.

Excited about once again joining the Dodgers, the team that originally drafted him in 2002, Martin said he is "looking forward to being back with the Dodgers where it all began". He helped the Blue Jays make back-to-back American League Championship Series appearances in 2015 and 2016. Martin's numbers have tailed off in recent seasons and his playing time has diminished.

He spent the first five seasons of his career with Los Angeles before spending two seasons apiece with the Yankees and Pirates before signing a monster five-year, $82 million contract with the Blue Jays. Martin is slated to become a free agent at the end of the 2019 season. Earlier in the offseason, it had been suggested by numerous insiders that the Jays were open about being willing to eat a substantial portion of Martin's 2019 salary. The Blue Jays finished fourth in the American League East previous year with a 73-89 record.

Vanessa Coleman

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