For the first time since 1999, it looks like Jorge Posada will not be the opening day catcher for the Yankees.
Friday, November 12, 2010
Various sources are reporting that Brian Cashman and the Yankees have informed long-time Yankee Jorge Posada that his days as a regular catcher are basically over, at least with the Yankees.
The Yankees will be giving catching prospect Jesus Montero a legitimate shot to win the starting catcher job in Spring Training, as well as having Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine get a look as well. Furthermore, I would not be surprised to see them bring in some sort of veteran on a minor league deal or a cheap Major League deal as some sort of back-up option. Say a guy like Rod Barajas or perhaps a reclamation case such as Gerald Laird, who may have incentive to come here, seeing as his little brother Brandon will probably be reach the Majors with the Yankees this year, assuming nothing goes wrong.
This news should be very encouraging to Yankee fans - it shows that they are going with their brains rather than their hearts. They understand a guy like Posada's history with the Yankees, but at the same time they realize he is significantly hurting the team as catcher, and they have a young, cost-effective option ready. This also implies that they are going to make someone like Derek Jeter happy with his contract, but not do something crazy that hurts the team - they are using sound business and statistical sense here.
Furthermore, Posada recently underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee (coincidentally the same exact surgery that I will be undergoing in a little over a month.)
In conclusion, this is clearly the right move to make. Without having to go through the wear-and-tear of being a catcher, Posada's offensive production will likely increase (his OPS dropped to .811, although he did hit 18 homeruns in only 383 at-bats, and his ability to walk is still basically at career norms.) Hopefully Jesus impresses during Spring Training, and this will be touted as a blessing next season.
Posted by Steve S at 11:33 AM