It seems like the season just started, but the trade deadline is quickly approaching, with a little more than a month left. There have been minor deals involving smaller players and prospects, such as the Russell Branyan trade, but no rush of big, juicy deals. The Yankees are always a big player in the trade market, at least in terms of rumors. This year, they are lucky that there are not a large number of continuing injuries to their key players. Sure there are gaps, but what team doesn’t? None of them! Well, unless you ask Peter Gammons about the Red Sox (I keed, I keed).
Over the next few days, the Canyon will release a series of posts that address the current state of the Yankees at each position. It will examine the health and success of the starter, aptitude of the backups, depth in the minor leagues, and any possible prospects that can arrive this year. If they appear to have a need at a position, possible targets will be discussed.
So without further adieu, let’s step into the Canyon Medical Center office and have a check-up of how the Yankees look. And why not start with the field general, the catcher!
If someone said Jorge Posada would go down with an injury in the off-season, there would have certainly been worry. Sure, Cervelli did a fine job last year offensively, especially since he was never an offensively-able catcher in the minor league, but nobody would have believed he could repeat that success. Well when that time occurred, ‘Cisco was not too horrible. While he shown he can be passable for least a short period of time, there is no evidence that the kid can do it for a full season. Sure he has done it both this year and last year, in a small sample size, but the majority of his at-bat have been scattered. It gives the hitter an advantage because a smaller, less consistent amount of footage and scouting for the opposing pitcher.
But, you have to say, Cervelli has shown he can be a good backup and at least a passable fill-in should an injury occur. Should Jorge not be able to catch for the rest of the season, and Jesus does not come out of hiding, Cervelli should be at least better than a Chad Moeller.
So, now let’s get to the Big Cheese. Sir George, Jorge Posada. Every Yankee fan knows and loves him, but he’s getting old. Yes, his offense is right on-par according to his home runs, average, and on-base ability. But, who knows how many games he can catch for this season, or for the rest of his career?
Jorge’s defense was never good; it could be described as poor. Statistics aren’t needed to show that it’s bad. But when Georgie Juices the ball like he does, I guess defense takes a back seat. While the possibility of his defense becoming unbearable is certainly possible, it won’t happen overnight or likely this season, unless his injury causes it.
The main worry of Jorge’s defense should be how it impacts his body. His foot has already been injured, which has prevented him from catching for a large part of the season. So it is understandable to sit Jorge for a large part of this season. However, if the Yankees decide to relegate Posada to the DH spot for the majority of the season, then another catcher might be needed.
The catcher trade market is never plentiful and is always expensive. It’s not as if the Yankees need a long-term solution, there are plenty great ones coming up. Just like always, there are few, if any, cheap catching targets that would be an upgrade over ‘Cisco.