11/10 UPDATE: Only two days after out post, David Ross signed with Boston.

We’re on record that we’d like Russell Martin back on the right terms, but here’s an alternative should RussMart depart, or even as his backup if he stays…

David Ross, free agent, age 35, spent last 4 seasons with the Braves

Ross has a weird stat profile. A career back-up catcher, he’s had some serious years of offensive suckage, including a .544 OPS (42 wRC+, 44 OPS+) back in 2007 with the Dodgers. However, check out his last 4 seasons!

Year Age Tm G HR BB SO 2009 32 ATL NL 54 151 7 21 39 .273 .380 .508 .888 133
2010 33 ATL NL 59 145 2 20 28 .289 .392 .479 .871 136
2011 34 ATL NL 52 171 6 16 51 .263 .333 .428 .761 107
2012 35 ATL NL 62 196 9 18 60 .256 .321 .449 .770 105
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/8/2012.

There is a belief that catchers have later hitting peaks than other position players, because they’re so focused on their defensive responsibilities. This could be the case for Ross.

He’s had some big BABIPs over the last 4 years, but he’s also substantially increased his line drive rate over the same time period.

For his career, Ross is a league average-hitter (99 wRC+, 100 OPS+). For a catcher, that’s mighty fine.

Defensively, he’s thrown out 39% of would-be basestealers over his 11-year career, and has a reputation for handling a pitching staff well.

He’s never played a full season, so if Russell Martin does leave, the Yankees will need to find someone else who can share time. But, if Martin does stay, he would be an awesome backup, and would allow Triple-A’s Austin Romine to work back into shape and recover from his back injury.