New York Yankees: With Ramon Hernandez DFA by Rockies, Bombers Should Pursue

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IMarch 29, 2013

BALTIMORE, MD - JUNE 24:  Catcher Ramon Hernandez #55 of the Cincinnati Reds in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 24, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

I've never been comfortable with the Yankees' current catching situation.

Especially because the Yankees lost their previous one, who was looking for more money, to free agency.

And then, I got an idea for a potential starter.

On Tuesday, I had first mentioned the idea of Ramon Hernandez for the Yankees.

That was after it was announced that Yorvit Torrealba would make the Colorado Rockies and Hernandez was likely either to be traded or cut.

On Friday, the Colorado Rockies designated Hernandez for assignment, and they will have 10 days to either trade or release the catcher.

Rockies cut Ramon Hernandez, keep Torrealba (Yahoo! Sports) #MLB

— Yahoo! Sports MLB (@YahooSportsMLB) March 30, 2013

Hernandez is due $3.2 million in 2013, but if the Rockies end up having to release him, Colorado has to pay him the whole amount, and whomever Hernandez signs with next would only have to pay him the minor league minimum.

Whether it be a trade or signing him as a free agent, I still think the Yankees need to pursue the veteran catcher for the 2013 season.

Back on March 17, Jon Heyman from CBS Sports had said the Rays, Phillies, Angels and Pirates all could have interest in Hernandez, but the Yankees hadn't inquired yet.

#angels, #pirates, #rays, #phillies all could have interest in ramon hernandez. #yankees haven't inquired.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) March 17, 2013

That was March 17. We're nearing the end of March now, almost two full weeks later, and there are multiple injuries to the Yankees offense to take into consideration.

The Yankees currently have Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart as their two main catchers on the roster, but neither one is really suited to be a starter and should be a backup used for defensive purposes.

With Hernandez, it would give the Yankees a little extra pop in their lineup that they wouldn't get from either Cervelli or Stewart.

Joe Pawlikowski from River Ave. Blues also talked about the idea of the Yankees looking into Hernandez once he was designated for assignment or released.

More from the scrap heap: Tyler Greene, Lyle Overbay, Ramon Hernandez

— River Ave. Blues (@RiverAveBlues) March 26, 2013

In 2012, Hernandez only played in 52 games for the Rockies due to a hand injury.

If Hernandez is healthy, he's capable of hitting .270-.290 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI while playing 100-120 games.

He also has a career .990 fielding percentage behind the plate and has handled many pitching staffs, as he has played for the A's, Padres, Orioles, Reds and Rockies in the past.

Some other teams could use Hernandez as a potential backup, but Hernandez makes perfect sense for them the Yankees, because both Stewart and Cervelli are not very strong suitors to be everyday catchers.

Plus, it would only be for one season and wouldn't block either Austin Romine's or Gary Sanchez's progress toward the majors if they got the call.

The most ideal situation would be the Yankees waiting the 10-day period for Colorado to release Hernandez and the Yankees could then sign him for a veteran's minimum of $400,000.

Or, the Yankees and Brian Cashman could work out a deal with Dan O'Dowd to take Hernandez and work out how much of the $3.2 million the Rockies would be on the hook for.

I know the Yankees have a lot of age and experience already on the roster, but the catching situation has been neglected since Russell Martin left as a free agent.

Acquiring Hernandez would be a short-term solution for 2013, but a good one to make.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.