Russell Martin’s contact with former Yankees teammates during the off-season was limited. He saw first base coach Mick Kelleher on a plane from California to Tampa yesterday and spoke briefly with manager Joe Girardi after signing with the Pirates.

“Jeet [Derek Jeter] sent me a text and said, ‘It was a pleasure playing with you,’ ” Martin said. “He is a class act and definitely an inspiration by the way he handles things, his professionalism and his dedication. That guy does everything the right way. He is one of my favorites, no question.’’

Can the 38-year-old Jeter fully return from a fractured ankle suffered in October?

“If it’s humanely possible, I think he will be able to do it. Even if it’s not humanely possible he might be able to do it, too,’’ Martin said. “That’s just the way Jeter is. I think he has the fire in him still. He would have to be in a wheelchair for him not to go.’’