TAMPA, Fla. -- Russell Martin says he couldn't be happier to be back wearing Yankees pinstripes this year, and for a time, he was thinking about extending his stay even further.
Martin said on Monday that his representatives had discussed a three-year contract with the Yankees during the winter. He signed a one-year, $7.5 million deal instead, but could be open to revisiting the topic down the road.
"It was a first start," Martin said. "I love being here. Just the guys, the organization, the way they handle their business, it's a fun environment."
As a rule, the Yankees do not discuss contract extensions in-season, a guideline that general manager Brian Cashman has applied to players like Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and CC Sabathia in past years.
Martin, 29, hopes to improve on a Yankees debut season that saw him hit .237 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs in 125 games. Martin is trimmer than he was last spring, weighing in seven pounds lighter, but he's more excited about the increase in power he feels.
Now down to 205 pounds, Martin followed the same training program as last winter, when he enlisted the help of a Montreal trainer who also works with Mixed Martial Arts fighter Georges St. Pierre.
"I did the same type of work that they do in the weight room; my strength coach works with hockey players and MMA guys, so my conditioning level was just about as good as theirs," Martin said.
"Not quite as good -- those guys are fighting for their lives. I don't need to be prepared to fight three- or five-minute rounds. I have to run to first base, then jog around the bases when I do my job right."
Last year, Martin came to camp rehabbing following surgery on his right knee, which kept him from performing extensive training on his lower half. This year, he has no restrictions, and he can sense a difference.
"Last year, I got away with doing the best that I could in a short period of time during spring to get my legs underneath me, but it's not the same," Martin said. "We'll see what happens, but right now I feel pretty good."