It felt like it was just a matter of time before the Blue Jays would move on Russell Martin this winter, and that's exactly what happened on Friday afternoon, as it was announced that he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Joining the Blue Jays are right-hander Andrew Sopko and infielder Ronny Brito.
According to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal, Toronto will be eating a "significant" portion of the $20 million Martin's owed this coming season.
Brito, 19, split last season between the Dominican Summer League Dodgers and the rookie-level Ogden Raptors, hitting.295 over 61 games.
In Toronto, Martin played four of the five seasons he signed up for, and helped the team make back to back ALCS appearances in 2015 and 2016 as a crucial part of both the offence and defence. A seventh-round pick in 2015, the 24-year-old has a career minor-league record of 27-17 with a 3.61 ERA with 363 strikeouts over 394 1/3 innings.
Martin spent the first five seasons of his career with the Dodgers and has also played for the New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates over the course of his 13-year Major League Baseball career.
He hit just.194 for the Blue Jays last season, but still gets on base (.349 career OBP) and was a plus-7 in defensive runs saved at catcher in 2018.
Toronto is in full teardown mode after two straight disappointing seasons.
The Dodgers were known to be in the marking for a catcher as their own Yasmani Grandal was a free agent this winter, and signed with the Milwaukee Brewers earlier this week on a one year, 18.25 million dollar deal.
The Blue Jays have been stockpiling prospects and will field a young team in 2019 with an eye to returning to contention two or three years down the road.