After years of continuity at the catching position, the Yankees are entering this winter (and likely the 2011 season) with a considerable lack of clarity behind the plate.
It’s no surprise that the Yankees are looking to make a switch from the 39-year-old Jorge Posada, and there are reports this morning that Brian Cashman had a face-to-face meeting with Posada where he was told as much. (Interestingly enough, Posada’s wife, Laura, may have been the first to break the news that her husband would be DHing next year when she wrote about it on her Facebook page.)
Will the Yankees plan work? Jesus Montero still gets some level of mixed reviews from scouts when they’re asked whether he’s major-league ready, and neither Austin Romine nor Francisco Cervelli are obvious everyday players yet either. The Yankees could look at adding a veteran catcher (one report mentions John Buck, who I like as a player but would expect to get an everyday job elsewhere) if there’s room in the budget but the current plan seems to be to let the kids fight it out for the two roster spots.
Posada as a primary DH is an interesting question, too. In his career, Posada has hit .223 with nine home runs and 33 RBI in 296 DH at-bats. Obviously that’s a pretty small sample size and my gut is that he’ll probably adapt to the role once he figures out a routine. It’s also worth noting that, according to the reports, Posada will have a minor knee surgery today similar to the one CC Sabathia had earlier this offseason. Sabathia is already up and around (he was seen at an NBA game shortly after the procedure) and Posada isn’t expected to have his offseason program affected.
* That’s an AP shot of Posada.