October 23, 2006
Backing Up Jorge In '07
Wil Nieves and Sal Fasano are gone. Ben Davis too. The only Yankees catcher on their current 40-man roster is Jorge Posada. So, who will be the back-up catcher for the Yankees in 2007?
Joe Oliver to Chris Turner to Todd Greene to Alberto Castillo to Chris Widger to John Flaherty to Wil Nieves to Kelly Stinnett to Sal Fasano. It's been some string, huh?
What's so hard about finding a decent back-up catcher?
Posted by Steve Lombardi at October 23, 2006 01:15 PM
Backup catchers are like RH relievers and backup infielders; a dime a dozen. It shouldn't be suprising when a team goes through so many of them
It would have been nice to have Navarro backing up Jorge these last couple of years - the way that Posada did Girardi before he took over.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at October 23, 2006 01:41 PM
Steve and Raf are both right. Luckily, Jorge has been extremely durable and doesn't show signs of a decline - yet. In fact, this may have been his best all around year. The key is what they do now. Time to get a young guy who'll be ready to catch 30-40 this year, 50-60 in '08, and the bulk of the games in '09. Jorge hasn't gotten the credit he deserves. But they don't need a back-up catcher, they need a replacement in the 08-09 timeframe. Fasano was the worst of the back-ups they've had. Glad they decided to move on. Jorge's productivity and durability behind the plate are a rare commodity. How's that song go...."You're gonna miss me when I'm gone." Jorge's been the best all around catcher/hitter in the Majors, other than Pudge, over the length of his career.
We have a couple of so-so catching prospects in the minors. Nothing spectacular, but you might find a decent backup there.
They also dropped two million on a gargantuan 16-year-old catcher who will make his pro ball debut next year. He's a big power hitter, but most people find it hard to believe he'd remain a catcher.
Navarro would have made a nice backup, but I think that's all he ever would have been on this team. I'm split on if he can be a starting catcher.
The thing is, there have been some decent backup catchers on the roster - they just didn't perform well for the Yankees.
I was excited about the Stinnett signing originally, as he'd put up very respectable OPS+ numbers the last couple of years (88 and 122). I wasn't expecting another 122 mark, but 88 for a backup catcher is fine.
Posted by: Mr. Faded Glory at October 23, 2006 03:45 PM
good point bailey. they have Jesus Montero in the system now, and will be with the GCL Yanks next year. He was the best intl. hitter on the market. But he's just 16. Who knows how he'll turn out.
However, I do kinda hope that he does NOT remain a catcher. Why not convert him to 1b, where the wear&tear is far less, and wont hurt his health? his bat may be too valuable to have him as a catcher (hurt knees, 140 gms/year, shorter career, etc.) this is all assuming he turns into a great hitter like scouts think he can.
having said this, we could use a good backup C. we haven't had ONE since jorge himself. i actually liked fasano, particularly his D, but he couldn't hit for his life. if there's no one in AAA, i have a possibility in mind: Bengie Molina. had a very nice year with Toronto (19, 57, .785), and there's a $7.5 mil club option. Zaun was slightly better so maybe the Jays let Molina walk. however, would the Yanks be willing to really spend $5+ mil for a backup C? probably not.
hey, how about Zaunie? he'd probably only cost about $1 mil, and had an .825 ops. quite good for a backup. but would he want to backup?
Posted by: 98Yanks at October 23, 2006 08:53 PM
Toby Hall might be avalible soon. he's making 2M while getting very very limited playing time. chances are the Dodgers either non-tender him or trade him . (heat up the A-rod to Dodger trade rumors some more!!! :P)
Really think we need to get off the older, back-up types and move on to younger, future-starter types. Seems nuts to be thinking about a 16 year old, even for the future. A super star might see the majors at 19. Any earlier is insane. There is way too much that can go wrong between the ages of 16 and 20. If the Yankees make a mistake (IMHO) and stick with an older guy, Zuan would do fine, and be a dramatic offensive and defensive upgrade over Sal Buffet Fasano.