New York Yankees: Catching Up with Backstop Francisco Cervelli
By season's end, he had put together a decent line of .266/.324/.395 with four home runs and 22 RBI. All of this was done while providing solid defense behind the plate.
Cervelli's numbers are not very flashy. The spark he provides to the team while playing is immeasurable, though. He plays with such an intensity and emotion that it's hard not to fall in love with the guy.
He was on track to play a similar role for the Yankees this season. On the final day of spring training, though, the Yankees sent reliever George Kontos to the San Francisco Giants for backstop Chris Stewart.
Stewart has performed poorly at the plate—.245/.260/.265 with seven RBI—but has played fantastic defense. He calls a great ballgame and the pitching staff loves tossing to him.
With that being the case, it's highly unlikely that the Yankees demote him any time soon.
So what happens to Cervelli?
Currently, Cervelli is serving as the big league team's insurance policy in Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre. Although a sizable demotion from his standing on the team last season, Cervelli told Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com that he has no hard feelings towards the team.
Plenty of teams could use Cervelli as their second string catcher, so it's likely that he could be had at the deadline—for the right price.
Trade him or keep him?
It's obvious that the Yankees will not ask for the moon for Cervelli. While he is a nice player, statistically speaking, he is nothing more than your average backup catcher.
It's also obvious, though, that the Yankees won't just give him away. They will ask for a prospect of equal or greater value in any deal, possibly one that can play the corner outfield positions.
Cervelli may not see time with the Yankees until the rosters expand in September, so a team change may be the best thing for his career at this point.
He's an emotional young catcher who is occasionally good for a clutch knock, though, so the Yankees would do well to keep him with the club.
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