MLB Free Agency: 10 Teams That Could Really Use Jorge Posada
Posada already announced he would not return to the Yankees, so that leaves him a free agent.
Is there a market for Posada?
A bad dip in his average last season won't make him the most desired addition, but in a more limited role, Posada's power and playoff experience can still help many teams around the MLB.
His defense may be limited to that of a part-time player because of his age, which will make his options limited in where he can realistically play.
Still, Posada could add a good bat for cheap.
Here are some possible destinations for the former Yankees backstop.
There's no question that Josh Hamilton has been bitten by the injury bug in his career. It's a fact the Texas Rangers have to live with year after year, and it sends Texas scrambling for offense during the season.
Posada could be a good addition for them to help fill that void, and he would come cheaper than other alternatives.
On top of being the designated hitter, Posada could still catch some games and play first base in a backup role for the Rangers.
That's more than enough options to get his bat in the lineup and make an impact, should Hamilton do what he has done on a regular basis during his career.
The Rangers also find themselves a perennial playoff team, which happens to be another strong suit of Posada. Despite a low career average, he has always been a good playoff hitter and was one of the few bright spots for the Yankees in the 2011 ALDS.
In his rookie season, Wilson Ramos impressed the Washington Nationals with 15 home runs and 52 RBI, sporting a .267 average.
Ramos no doubt has the expectations of an up and coming catcher, but that doesn't come on its own.
That's where Posada comes in.
Posada could be a mentor to Ramos, as well as helping a young pitching staff that has Stephen Strasburg to develop for a full 2012 season.
The former Yankee has a decade and a half of Major League Baseball knowledge to help the Nationals' younger players.
In his spare time, can swing the bat and play in a back-up role at either catcher or first base.
Boston Red Sox
Wouldn't this move give the Yankees agita.
If Ben Cherington is looking for a way to create some attention and controversy in his first season, he could sign Jorge Posada.
The move would give the former Yankees catcher 19 games during the season, and a possible playoff series, to show the Bombers what they're missing.
The Sox will lose Jason Varitek and David Ortiz, as both are free agents this year, and could look to bring in Posada in their place. Posada would be a serviceable backup to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and may even see some extra playing time in Boston's vacated DH role.
Posada's offense would get a boost in Fenway Park as well, having fancied himself a Pesky's Pole hitter in his Yankees career.
Kansas City Royals
The Kansas City Royals stand to lose two catchers to free agency this offseason, as Jason Kendall and Matt Treanor are both available to the highest bidder.
That being said, the Royals offer something that not many teams can for Posada.
Posada's biggest frustration was his lack of playing time being a full-time DH, but with KC that would change. He would have a more important and regular role with the team because of their lack of talent.
In fact, he might be one of their best hitters as well.
On top of that, Posada can help raise some of his younger teammates by passing off his long history of the game.
It's always helpful to have the experience of a guy who was playing for World Series rings while most of your team was in elementary school.
Gio Gonzalez, like most talented Oakland A's players, is quickly becoming trade bait.
It takes work to groom trade bait and Posada could help in that effort. Oakland is full of young, promising players compiled from salary dumping, and Posada's experience could help their development..
Teams in need of a good bat or arm will thank him in the future.
Posada would bring a bat to Oakland as well, something their anemic offense was missing last season. This is another destination where a lack of talent would also lead to Posada being on the field and in the batter's box more often.
He wouldn't be the first Yankee put out to pasture in Oakland as the A's signed Hideki Matsui after his days in pinstripes were over.
Toronto Blue Jays
Yet another move that might make the Yankees uncomfortable.
The Toronto Blue Jays have just made Jose Bautista their franchise player, signing him to a contract extension last season.
Now they must build around their best player to give him some help offensively. Sadly for the Blue Jays, they won't be big players for the top prizes of this market, so they must look elsewhere for assistance.
Posada would be a cheap alternative that, with enough playing time, could give them 15 home runs and 50 RBI, playing multiple backup positions.
You can never have enough offense in the AL East, and battling financially against the Yankees and Red Sox can be impossible.
For the Jays, Posada would be a realistic option that won't cost them too much.
New York Mets
The New York Mets are in the process of shedding some of their payroll after running into financial hardships over these past few years.
There won't be much star power for New York in 2012, and younger players will have a chance to develop. This painful process may lead to a losing team that many won't pay attention to.
If the Mets brought in Posada, it would certainly create a buzz in New York for the team, bringing in a Yankee great to Citi Field.
Posada could help in the development of the Mets' younger players, including top prospect Zack Wheeler and last year's promising starter, Dillon Gee.
He could add a cheaper offensive alternative for New York, and Posada would be staying home instead of having to move to a different place to play.
Besides, what could possibly be a better storyline than Posada coming home to the Bronx in a Mets uniform for the Subway Series?
If the Baltimore Orioles lose Vladimir Guerrero to free agency, Buck Showalter will find himself looking for a new DH.
Posada could replace the numbers Guerrero put up last season with Baltimore.
The Orioles also have a young catcher in Matt Wieters, who showed a lot of promise last year. Posada would be a mentor to him and his younger teammates.
First-year GM Dan Duquette could make a splash and draw attention to what will most likely be a fourth- or fifth-place team by bringing in a former Yankee great and keeping Posada in the AL East.
After trading Delmon Young, the Minnesota Twins now face the prospect of losing three of their best hitters in Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Jim Thome, all to free agency.
Thome is already gone, and Cuddyer will be pursued by many teams, creating a possible bidding war the Twins won't win.
Posada would be a perfect replacement, repairing some of the holes in the Twins offense that will be left behind after this offseason.
His price would be right in the range of Minnesota, as well as providing some relevant insurance for Joe Mauer, who had injury problems last season.
The Seattle Mariners were a horrible offensive team last season, and are currently grooming some talented, young offensive players who will be important for their future.
The Mariners have been active in the free-agent market the past few seasons, so don't be surprised if they make a move this season.
Posada would be the perfect, conservative option for Seattle if they don't want to break the bank for some immediate offensive help.
He would be good for the Mariners' young players, adding a ton of experience to a team in desperate need of it.
Being thin at catcher and in their lineup as a whole, Posada could find himself in another place that will give him some consistent playing time.
Bold Prediction: Where Will Posada End Up?
If we learned anything last season, it was that Posada wants to play every day.
There are very few of those options left for him in the MLB, leaving his situation at a simple conclusion.
If he wants to play on a daily basis, most likely it will be for a non-contending team. If he wants to win, Posada will be nothing more than a backup catcher, first baseman or DH for a contending team.
Problem is, if Posada doesn't get the playing time he wants, he'll draw negative attention to his team and will sulk for the entirety of the 2012 season.
His actions last season may hurt his future in this league, but it appears he has some options to choose from.
I ultimately believe that Posada will retire. Does he really want to sit on the bench for a winning team? Or does he want to play every day for a losing team at this point in his career?
Posada has nothing more to prove, and could go out on a positive, final note after a good playoff showing last season.
I could never imagine Posada in a different uniform and I don't think I'll ever get the chance to see it.
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