New York Yankees: Is Current Catching Situation Best Option for Bombers in 2013?

Doug Rush@Doug_RushSenior Analyst IFebruary 20, 2013

DUNEDIN, FL - MARCH 8:  Catcher Francisco Cervelli #17 of the New York Yankees throws against the Toronto Blue Jays  March 8, 2012 at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium in Dunedin, Florida. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Ever since the Yankees let Russell Martin walk as a free agent, Yankee fans have been waiting.

Waiting patiently to see who would be the next catcher for the Yankees in 2013.

Right after Thanksgiving in November, Martin left the Yankees and landed a two-year, $17 million contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates to take their starting catcher spot.

Most fans were OK with the move because they felt it was time to move on from Martin.

Fans thought either free agents Mike Napoli or A.J. Pierzynski would be an immediate upgrade for the spot, but the Yankees never made an offer to either.

Instead, Napoli signed a deal with the Boston Red Sox to be their first basemen and Pierzynski signed a deal to be the Texas Rangers new starting catcher, replacing Napoli.

Once I heard that Napoli had a hip condition, I was actually glad the Yankees didn't sign him and passed. But to me, Pierzynski on a one-year deal made sense.

I still figured the team had a plan for the catcher's spot and had a trade up their sleeve.

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Even my editors came hinting to me with ideas of Joe Mauer trade suggestions and stories, which I covered at the trade deadline and again shortly after Martin signed with Pittsburgh.

And yet, here we are, a week into spring training, and the catching situation is no different.

The Yankees essentially have four backups competing for the starting job.

Francisco Cervelli, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson and Austin Romine are all vying to be named the Yankees catcher when April rolls around.

To me, I still can't wrap my head around any of these candidates being the full-time catcher because quite frankly, they're not everyday players.

Sure, they can hold their own defensively, but on offense, you're basically asking for an automatic out with these guys.

Now, granted last year, Martin was batting well below the .200 mark for most of the season, but he still had some decent power numbers with 21 home runs and 53 RBI despite hitting .211.

In fact, Martin's tear in September that got him over the .200 mark was what I thought could save his job and get him a new deal in New York.

But the Yankees never even made him an offer, which now I'm kind of wishing they had considering their situation at the catcher position.

If you look at all four of these suitors, Cervelli is likely the one that gets penciled into the starting role.

The same Francisco Cervelli who was sent down to the minor leagues the day before spring training ended because they had traded for Stewart from the San francisco Giants.

The same Cervell who did nothing in the minor leagues in 2012 to be deserving of a second chance of a call-up until the rosters expanded in September.

And the same Cervelli who is tied to the Miami anti-aging clinic for potential PED use, and if found guilty of taking any form of PED's, could face a 50-game suspension.

I know the team has envisions of Gary Sanchez being the future starting catcher for the team, and if he is in fact the real deal, the Yankees should groom him and prepare him for those duties.

But the only problem is the 20-year-old Sanchez is at least two years away from being a major league player.

We all know the Yankees are trying to cut down on payroll and get to the $189 million mark, but at the same time, they need to field a team that's worth watching everyday.

Putting backup catchers in the starting spot is not going to help the Yankees win games.

I still think Yankees GM Brian Cashman is scouring the trade market like a stealth ninja and will look for the right time to strike a deal to help the Yankees this spring.

And usually when he makes those kinds of deals, they are ones we never saw coming but are designed to help the team.

Deep down, I want to believe that Cashman is looking to make a deal for a starting catcher.

Because right now, I can't see them going with "as-is" into April.

Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.

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