Sunday, January 6, 2013

WANTED: Catcher

This is a pressing need for the Yankees, and quite possibly the most important position for them to fill before they break camp. The Yankees have a handful of backup catchers and do not have a brand name at catcher for the first time almost two decades. The Bombers have internal options which they intend to use for 2013. Basically, the job is Francisco Cervelli's to lose. Unless Austin Romine opens eyes up in camp, he should start the season at AAA to get every day at bats as a catcher. While the Yankees have a strong pitching staff, there is nobody right now who is a viable option at catcher. Based on early returns on the poll to the right of my blog, people overwhelmingly believe that the Yankees must improve at the catcher position before focusing on anything else. With Joe Girardi, defense is important for a backstop, and that is not something that Mike Napoli or AJ Pierzynski possessed. However, Francisco Cervelli does not have a strong history as a defensive catcher at the major league level either. I say Francisco Cervelli because there is no microcosm of a chance that the Yankees will head into the regular season with Chris Stewart as their every day catcher.

C Salvador Perez of the Kansas City Royals
Speaking of Chris Stewart, he is a perfectly capable option to continue serving as a backup catcher for the 2013 season. Gary Sanchez is in the low levels of the Yankees minor league system, so he will not be an option for the Yankees to go to in 2013. This leaves the Yankees with some minor league invitees as options for their catching position. However, there is a much stronger chance that they will begin the season with Francisco Cervelli serving as their primary catcher. Romine needs to take this opportunity to complete his development in Scranton Wilkes-Barre and possibly have a chance at becoming that every day guy if the Cervelli plan backfires at the Yankees.

There are also trades that can possibly be made. Cashman is good at coming up with players who fit the Yankees' needs. If Cashman has enough in his farm system to acquire a Salvador PĂ©rez or a Jarrod Saltalamacchia, more power to him. Let's stop dreaming for a minute and realize that trades like this are rare surrounding the Yankees. I can always dream of Cashman acquiring Salvador Perez from the Royals, but I don't think the Yankees have enough chips to make that kind of a deal. So, for now the fans must live through this period of frugality the Yankees are currently going through.

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