New catcher Russell Martin said ``frustrations and distractions'' led to two subpar seasons in Los Angeles, where he was an All-Star in 2007 and 2008 with the Dodgers before dropping off the past two seasons.
Speaking to the National Post in his hometown of Toronto, Martin said, "There's some things that you keep for yourself. Those distractions, they're personal -- personal issues in my life that not everybody needs to know about.''
When pressed, Martin said, ``I had some distractions that maybe led me not to have that same drive that I've had in the past. Really, that's all it is, honestly. I didn't train quite as--I trained hard, but before, nobody trained as hard as I did."
In his first three seasonswith the Dodgers, Martin batted .285 and averaged 14 homers and 77 RBIs. He tailed off to .249 with six homers and 40 RBIs after that.
Martin had hip surgery and recent knee surgery that was described as minor but, the report said, will require him to ``ease into'' spring training.
Martin said the Blue Jays offered him the same one, year $4 million contract as the Yankees but would not guarantee his playing time as a catcher.
``The Yankees were just, 'Hey, we want you to catch as much as possible. We want you to be our guy,'' Martin said.
Martin said the past distractions are gone. ``I feel like I'm back where I need to be. Just mentally, I feel better....I think I've got a lot to prove, especially with the last couple years that I've had.''