Forget Left Field, What Are The NY Yankees Going to Do About a Catcher?
Lots of talk about what the Yankees are going to do about left field and starting pitching. Johnny Damon, will he stay or will he go? Godzilla is outta here. Rumors flying about Jason Bay. Matt Holliday is still out there if the Cards can't lock him up. Could we wind up with Melky in left?
Same with pitching, looks like Doc Halladay is not heading this way. We let Chien Ming Wang go as a free agent. But supposedly want to look at Ben Sheets or Duchscherer. Why they think those two are any less of a gamble with more upside than Wang is beyond me.
But no one is talking about catching. Hip, hip Jorge Posada is 38 years old. That is very old for a catcher! For the last few years injuries have been taking their toll on Posada. The talk is to try and get Jorge in 15 to 20 games as DH. That still leaves 140 games for him to catch. Can we count on a 38 year old going on 39 year old, high mileage catcher to give us that kind of effort? Hey I like Jorge as much as the next guy. But lets be realistic here.
So what is behind Posada? Jose (AJ loves me) Molina is a free agent. He is 35 years old and a liability at bat. You don't hear even a whisper of the Yankees re-signing him. OK if not Molina, than who?
The pride of Valencia, Venezuela - Francisco Cervelli in limited duty last year hit just under 300 and showed some nice style behind the plate. It seemed like the Yankees didn't have high hopes for Cervelli and he surprised them with how well he played. Was that a flash in the pan or is that the real deal? He could be in for substantial playing time next year and we can't afford a liability at that position.
Behind Cervelli is the rumored long term replacement for Posada, Jesus Montero. Montero is a teenager, but has a big bat. They say he needs work on his catching skills and hopefully he won't outgrow the position. Of course there is a long way from the Yankee farm system to Yankee Stadium. He could be next years Austin Jackson. In any event, he is still a year or two away at the least. He won't be much help next year.
So if Posada goes down we could be looking at a Yankee lineup with Melky in left, Swisher in right, Cervelli behind the plate. Juan Miranda at DH. No Damon behind Jeter, no Matsui behind A-Rod. Not exactly a murderers row. Especially with the Red Sox starting Beckett, Lester, Lackey and Dice-K.
There is no help available by buying a free agent for this problem. The Yankees may just have to trade some talent to get an experienced back up to Posada.
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