Russell Martin, now a Pirate, thought he'd still be with Yankees for 2013 season
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BRADENTON, Fla. -- Russell Martin knows baseball is a business, players change teams all the time, etc.
The bottom line, though, is this: When last season ended and the catcher was about to hit the free-agent market, he didn't think he'd be anywhere but the Bronx in 2013.
"I thought I was going to be in pinstripes," Martin said before his new team, the Pirates, lost to his old one, 11-9, Sunday at McKechnie Field. "Shows how much I know. But there's no hard feelings. I see it as a business move . . . There's no regrets."
Martin signed a two-year deal worth $17 million with the Pirates, having never received an offer from the Yankees.
Ownership's desire to bring payroll to $189 million for the 2014 season ruled the day over members of baseball operations who wanted Martin back because of the catching options that remained.
Martin was part of an exodus of power -- despite a seasonlong struggle at the plate, he did hit 21 homers -- that left a depleted lineup. And that was before Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson got hurt.
"It seems like they always find a way, but it's not the same bench," Martin said, mentioning 2012 backups such as Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones. "It's going to be tough. And with all of the guys injured, it's definitely an uphill battle."
Ivan Nova, who came in having allowed one run in nine innings, allowed four runs and six hits in five innings. Nova said he's getting more comfortable with the adjustment he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild made in shortening his delivery but isn't entirely comfortable yet . . . Kevin Youkilis went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer and RBI double . . . Veteran Matt Diaz, signed to a minor-league deal and brought to camp to compete for an outfield spot, hit .200 with a .250 on-base percentage in 13 games and was released Sunday.