Now that Jorge Posada's uncomfortable 2011 is over, he's faced with an even more uncomfortable situation: deciding what to do next.
After a brilliant run with the Yankees, Posada's numbers and playing time dwindled in 2011. It is clear that he's in the final stages of his career.
At a crossroads, Posada knows it's unlikely that he will be returning to New York next year. Despite how well he played in the postseason, he's probably not in the Yankees' plans for the future, not even the near future.
What's next for Jorge Posada? Here are some considerations.
Jorge's pride and love for the game might get in the way of this option, but Jorge should highly consider retirement. There are several great reasons to retire:
1. He would be finishing his career as a Yankee.
2. He would be finishing his career on his own terms, still playing at a respectable level.
3. His last few games with the Yankees in 2011 were the best of the season, so he would be finishing his career on a bright note, not ending with a slump or an injury.
4. He's already accomplished everything anyone could dream of in baseball.
5. He just finished a four-year, $52 million contract. He won't find money like that again anywhere, even in New York.
The Baltimore Oriole's designated hitter and first base positions are both in flux heading into this offseason. Jorge could fill multiple needs for them.
It makes sense for Baltimore to pick up a designated hitter who can also field multiple positions.
Toward the end of the season, Baltimore was platooning first base, so unless they pick up a marquee name, Posada could see some time at first. He could also help back up Mike Wieters at catcher.
Jorge would still be only a part-time player, but this move would keep him on the East Coast and in the AL.
The new-look Miami Marlins would be a great place for Posada to finish his career.
With a new stadium, a new manager and a new name, Miami would be wise to bring a veteran bat into the young clubhouse. They would also sell some tickets and increase exposure with a household name like Posada on the team.
Jorge's switch-hitting bat would help balance out the lineup. Since the Marlins are by no means stocked at first base or catcher, he could see significant playing time at either position.
Ozzie Guillen's best teams have been clubs with great chemistry, and the addition of a great teammate like Posada could be a great anchor for this team.
If Posada is willing to move west, he could see significant time in the field and at the plate for the Oakland Athletics.
Designated hitter Hideki Matsui is a free agent, they're thin at first base and need a solid backup catcher for Kurt Suzuki. Posada could fill all three needs and get plenty of plate appearances in the process.
Oakland won't spend a lot of money to acquire a top-shelf DH or first basemen. Posada would be a reasonably priced player to add to a relatively young lineup.
From the right side of the plate, Posada hit .269 with 14 homers and 41 RBI last season. There are several NL teams that would love to put those kind of numbers in their lineup at the catcher position.
He's definitely not a full-time catcher anymore, but he could still play half his games behind the plate.
Sure, it would be nice if Jorge could regain his swagger from the left side of the plate, but his 2011 postseason proved that he can hit well against good pitching. He's a disciplined hitter that grinds out good at bats, and he should look to bring those talents to the NL.
New York is the only city and franchise Posada has known. It's where his closest friends and lifelong teammates are.
If he's willing to continue in a lesser role, he could remain with the beloved Yankees.
The tremendous upside of Jesus Montero and Austine Romine ensures that Posada won't be seeing many plate appearances as a catcher or DH. The occasional off-day for Teixeira or a pinch-hit situation is pretty much all Jorge will get.
This option is a long shot, but Posada's solid performance this past September and October provided a quality audition for New York.