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Russell Martin open to utility role with Dodgers

Russell Martin is open to General Manager Ned Colletti’s idea of returning to the Dodgers as a utility player, according to Martin’s agent.

“He’s interested in the opportunity the Dodgers have described,” Matt Colleran said.

Martin, a former All-Star catcher, wasn’t tendered a contract by the Dodgers on Thursday night and became a free agent. Colleran said Colletti told him he wanted to re-sign Martin to play second base, third base and the outfield, in addition to catching. In that role, Martin probably would split time behind the plate with Rod Barajas, who on Friday signed a one-year, $3.25-million deal.

Colleran said he was contacted by six teams soon after the Dodgers announced they weren’t offering Martin a contract for next season. One of those teams was the New York Yankees, who, according to the New York Times, attempted to trade for Martin on Thursday night.

The teams Colleran has called back are interested in Martin as a catcher.

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Colleran said Martin views the upcoming season as an opportunity to reestablish his value and is in the process of determining whether he would prefer to do so as a full-time catcher or utility player.

Barajas, 35, played well for the Dodgers after he was claimed off waivers from the New York Mets on Aug. 22. In 25 games, he batted .297 with five home runs and 13 runs batted in. Overall, he batted .240 with 17 homers and 49 RBIs in 99 games.

Keep track of all the rumors, trades and signings from baseball’s winter meetings, which begin Monday, on latimes.com.


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