Francisco Cervelli, otherwise known as the "Cisco Kid", was absolutely fantastic when Jorge Posada was hurt and on the DL. But could he be used for trade bait now?
In 2009, his first season of extended time in the Major Leagues, Cervelli was excellent as the third, and sometimes second, string catcher, hitting .298 in 94 at bats.
Coming into 2010, the Yankees had decided to not resign Jose Molina (the latter of the catching Molina brothers), thus making Cervelli the back up catcher behind long time Yankee Jorge Posada .
And Cervelli didn't disappoint. He's hitting .273 overall and has been very good hitting with runners in scoring position, with a .353 batting average in those situations for the year.
He doesn't have a power stroke, with only one home run in 282 career at bats, but his 30 RBI and his aforementioned average with runners in scoring position make him an attractive option to any team looking for catching help as the July 31 trade deadline draws near.
Contenders that could potentially be suitors for Cervelli are:
Detroit Tigers - Alex Avila has claimed the starting job in Detroit, but he is hitting just .210 with four home runs and 15 RBI. Their back up is Gerald Laird, who is hitting an atrocious .187 with three home runs and 16 RBI. Clearly in need of Cervelli's skills at the plate.
New York Mets - Rod Barajas has been their starter and has 12 home runs, but has been benched recently and is only hitting at a .226 clip. Henry Blanco is their back up, hitting .269, but provides little production at 38 years old.
Boston Red Sox - With both Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek on the DL, the Sox definitely need the help, but they currently sit in third place, seven games back of the Yankees and have to decide if they are going to be sellers or buyers this year. The Sox and Yanks are in the same division, which might prove to be a problem as well.
All three of these teams obviously have a need for Cervelli, but do the Yankees?
Well, that depends on how much stock you put into Jesus Montero , who has been heating up of late after a terrible start to the season.
As far as Posada goes, it appears that Girardi is content with keeping him the starter, despite his injuries and defensive lapses this year. Plus, he has gotten off to a great start to the second half, with two home runs and at least one RBI in each of the Yankees six games since the All Star break.
So if the Yankees can pry away a bullpen piece from one of those three teams mentioned, like Eddie Bonine (4-0, 2.88 ERA, 45 IP) from the Tigers, or Bobby Parnell (1.23 ERA, 14 IP, 16 K) from the Mets , then I would say Cervelli is expendable at this point.
Crazy things happen at the end of July. We will have to wait and see.