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New York Yankees: Should Bombers Consider Ramon Hernandez for Starting Catcher?

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 02:  Catcher Ramon Hernandez #55 of the Colorado Rockies throws to second base against the San Diego Padres at Coors Field on September 2, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Doug RushSenior Analyst IMarch 26, 2013

It's never fun when the injury bug hits your team early on in the season.

For the New York Yankees, it's bitten them to the point where they have had to alter the roster drastically.

The Yankees are in major need of offense for 2013.

It's the reason why they have traded for Vernon Wells and have picked up $13 million of the remaining $42 million left on his contract.

He'll be the starting left fielder until Curtis Granderson returns from the disabled list.

One position that the Yankees could still look to improve on is catcher.

All winter, I have been stressing on how the Yankees should look into different options because Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart are not the best options as starters.

I have an idea that could be developing in the near future.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, there is a very good chance that the Colorado Rockies release Ramon Hernandez soon.

#Rockies might not find taker for R. Hernandez, who is due $3.2M. Release possible. Torrealba will back up Rosario.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 26, 2013

Wilin Rosario will be the Rockies' starting catcher and Yorvit Torrealba will likely win the backup job, which is why the Rockies are exploring a trade.

However, as Rosenthal stated, the Rockies might end up having to release Hernandez and will be on hook to pay him the remaining $3.2 million of his deal.

If that is the case, I think the Yankees should take a look at Hernandez to be their catcher for 2013.

Cody Derespina of Newsday also made the suggestion that the Yankees take a look at Hernandez for their catcher spot.

If the @yankees want to take a stroll down the bargain aisle, there are options: Rod Barajas, Ramon Hernandez, Lyle Overbay. #MLB

As far as money goes, since the Rockies would be on the hook for the rest of Hernandez's salary, all the Yankees would have to give him is a veteran's minimum for a deal.

Hernandez's defense might not be as strong as Stewart's or Cervelli's, especially since he's 36, going on 37 in May.

But what Hernandez has to offer over those two is a stronger bat, something they lost when Russell Martin bolted to the Pittsburgh Pirates in free agency.

The Yankees weren't too keen on the idea of paying Martin $8.5 million per season, but $400,000 for Hernandez might be something they could look into.

Plus, Hernandez would be signed for only one season, whereas Martin was looking for a two- to three-year deal.

In the spring, both Stewart and Cervelli are playing good defense, but on the other side, they aren't exactly tearing the cover off the ball.

Stewart is hitting .225, while Cervelli is hitting .200. Now, normally, these numbers wouldn't matter since both are known for being defensive-minded catchers.

However, with Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez all slated to start the season on the disabled list, the Yankees need help on offense.

Hernandez spent time in 2012 on the DL, playing in just 52 games and hitting .217 with five home runs and 28 RBI.

When Hernandez is healthy, he's capable of hitting .285 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI while being able to hold his own behind the plate.

With Yankees GM Brian Cashman bargain hunting, but looking for upgrades to the team, Hernandez would make sense for the Bombers in 2013.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

 

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