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Posada on the Block? Unlikely. Yanks Part Ways with Tino
2005-11-08 13:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Tom Verducci has this from Palm Springs:

The New York Yankees declined the 2006 option on first baseman Tino Martinez, opting to pay a $250,000 buyout rather than bring him back at $3 million for 2006.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman denied that the club would use catcher Jorge Posada as their first baseman, with Jason Giambi filling the designated-hitter role full time.

According to baseball executives at the general managers meetings here, the Yankees have floated Posada's name on the trade market. He does not have a no-trade provision. The Yankees, though, have no real expectations of moving Posada because of his hefty contract.

Comments
2005-11-08 13:35:23
1.   Bob B
As much as I've liked watching Jorge over the years, his production has seemed to dry up. I think he still has a tremendous arm and seems to call a good game..(RJ notwithstanding) but I believe that the way to stay on top is to let people go at the right time and this may be the right time to let him go.
2005-11-08 13:40:57
2.   alterity
Uh. . . so we'd have to sign two catchers?

it seems to me that it might be a better idea to let jorge dh and have jason stay in the field.

actually, it seems to me that the yanks are creating problems for themselves with this scenario. jorge wasn't great this year 9by his standards), but he was still one of the better catchers in the game. who's going to replace him. molina? he's also on the wrong side of 30. and if jorge isn't going to catch we still need a backup. not to mention the fact that we need to find another first baseman (for late inning defense). so we could wind up with posada/giambi/defensive-first-sacker-to-be-named-later in some sort of platoon? that option leaves me a bit cold as its using up too many roster spots. there seems to me to be other more pressing concerns, ie the obvious ones in the bullpen and centerfield.

2005-11-08 14:15:33
3.   randym77
I agree with 2. Posada had a bad year - for him. It would be pretty darn good for anyone else. His defense was fine, so I don't see the point of moving him to first. Certainly, given his age they have to start thinking about his successor, but it should be a young talent. Someone Jorgie can help break in, not an aging veteran who might retire before he does.

IOW, not Bengie Molina. Molina is only three years younger than Jorgie, and has probably been catching longer. IMO, he's already showing signs of wear. The last couple of years he's suffered injuries early in the season that benched him. Perhaps because he lets himself go in the offseason. That might work when you're 35, but now that he's north of 30, it's coming back to bite him.

2005-11-08 14:16:41
4.   Peter
If you follow the link now, the article downplays the likelihood of him actually being traded and has Cashman denying any intention of moving Jorge to 1B. Which is a big relief considering how wrong the above scenario would've been on so many different levels.
2005-11-08 14:30:23
5.   randym77
They must have changed the article. The part quoted above is no longer there.
2005-11-08 14:49:15
6.   YankeeInMichigan
randym77 is right on target. Successful teams generally develop their up-the-middle players from within, or at least acquire them young. Dioneer Navarro was slated to become Posada's heir, spending 2005 at triple-A, 2006 as an apprentice and 2007 as the starter (with Posada's 2007 option available as insurance). Navarro will never be a hall of famer, but he will be an above-league-average catcher, putting up at least Bengie Molina 2005-like numbers for quite a few years. The Navarro trade (Big Unit notwithstanding) could end up biting like the 1976 Dempsey trade, which precipitated a 19-year catcher draught (not to mention an 18-year pennant draught) in the Bronx.

Ironically, the best available young catcher may be Navarro himself, as the Dodgers have blue-chipper Russel Martin (who had a monster year in double-A Jacksonville) waiting in the wings. The question is who can the Yankees offer in return. I would love to offer Carl Pavano, who has a proven success record with a National League team with a pitcher-friendly park. For now, Pavano's shoulder status makes him untradeable. But if Pavano gets off to a strong start and Martin demonstrates that he is major league-ready, a mid-season Pavano for Navarro swap could be in the cards.

2005-11-08 14:53:29
7.   Zack
yankkeInMichigan, thats not entirely true: case in point Jason Varitek, who was aquired in a trade. While I generally agree that the best solution is exactly what we did with Jorge, it doesn't have to be that way. Look at AJ P. in chicago...he may be a total A-hole, but it worked for them...

This scenario is just so beyond dumb (moving jorge to 1b) not only are we going to get well below average 1B production, we will be getting bad D in all likelyhood, AND hurting Giambi's production as has been proven.

2005-11-08 15:33:41
8.   Alex Belth
I caught the change/update in Verducci's column and adjusted the quote accordingly...
2005-11-08 17:15:33
9.   Rich
Trading Navarro was really dumb, which was why I was so strongly opposed to the RJ trade.

The only way to trade Po is to take back another bad contract.

2005-11-08 18:13:25
10.   alasky
"At this stage, I'm trying to reduce payroll," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said at the GM meetings in Indian Wells, Calif. "We have a young player who's knocking on the door, Andy Phillips, who's a right-handed bat and provides flexibility to Joe Torre. We're gravitating toward that concept. We're not locked into it, but that's the current direction."

If this is a sign of Cashman's decision making taking over...then I'm all for it. It's not the move itself, but the rationale behind it. Let's wait and see.

2005-11-08 18:30:15
11.   Alvaro Espinoza
"The Yankees, though, have no real expectations of moving Posada because of his hefty contract."

Well that about says it all. He's here to stay. I'm a little surprised by the negativity in these early posts. I've never been much of a 20 fan and certainly never thought I would find myself defending him. W/o getting into it, his defense was quite solid in '05. And if Torre/Cashman can find a way to spell him more often (115 games behind the plate max), I think he'll put up similar numbers next year. Considering what's available (or not available), there's no need to get wrapped up in the C position.

Now the bullpen is a different story.

2005-11-08 18:55:44
12.   Adam B
Considering how Posada only needs 63 games to lock himself into making $12 million next year, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Yankees go after a better backup catcher and let that catcher catch Randy plus one other game a week and then try to get rid of the Posada contract problem in June/July.

Phillips getting a chance? Someone quickly get me to a bed before I faint.

2005-11-08 19:43:09
13.   Jen
Is it me or does there seem to be a Posada trade rumor at least once a year?
2005-11-08 22:21:25
14.   Ravenscar
As a Mets fan, 2 things:

The Metsgeek guys are FREAKING OUT that Willie might whisper into Omar's ear to bring one of his old Yankee pals over to Queens. A catcher swap where Piazza becomes your DH and we get the catcher closest to Piazza in throwing. Please god no. Let the Devil Rays have him.

Which brings me to point two. While I agree that Posada has been at the top of his hitting game for a couple of years, and you couldn't have expected much better from a hitting catcher who isn't destined for the HOF, AND is a home-grown talent and deserves respect.... he has NEVER had a strong arm (from post #1). Ever. He owes Mike Piazza a debt of gratitude for while Mike was getting all the press for being the worst throwing catcher in the majors, he took away attention from the fact that Posada was the SECOND-WORST throwing catcher in the majors. You can look it up. He has gotten better than he was, but if you check the caught stealing, he was never even in the top 3/4th's, I believe.

2005-11-09 03:38:45
15.   randym77
I wonder if there is any chance we can get Navarro back, as suggested in 6?

Whatever happens, I think we're going to miss Posada when he's gone.

And on another subject...looks like the transportation bond act passed in yesterday's election. Which means, among other things, that construction on the Second Ave. subway line can start. Manhattan's going to be getting its first major new subway line since Bill Dickey was the Yankees' catcher.

2005-11-09 03:55:23
16.   Murray
I'll believe it when I board my first T train at 86th and 2nd. Until then, I'll remain skeptical.
2005-11-09 05:46:57
17.   BenYankee
Murray: Prop 2 passed last night in the NYC elections. You may be boarding that T train on 2nd Ave. sooner than you think. Well, maybe not sooner than you think but at least soon relative to the pacing of the project on the whole.
2005-11-09 06:52:08
18.   Murray
I understand that it passed. It took the MTA 25 years to open the 63rd Street subway, and another eight to connect it to the Queens Boulevard IND. I think my skepticism remains warranted.
2005-11-09 07:22:59
19.   JohnnyC
Ravenscar,

You obviously need reading glasses. While Jorge Posada may not be a Gold Glove candidate, the one thing he does very well is throw...watch any Yankees games at all? In 2005, Posada's CS% of .302 places him ahead of these ML catchers: Jason "Gold Glove" Varitek .244, Victor Martinez .232, Michael Barrett .231, Gregg Zaun .226, A.J. Pierzynski .225, Dioner Navarro .214, Mike Lieberthal .213, Jason Kendall .179, Mike Piazza .137 and just behind Johnny Estrada .310 and, yes, your dreamboat, Bengie Molina .313. Read the fine print again.

2005-11-09 07:37:43
20.   searay
Posada throws very well. He has always had a strong arm and a quick release. A lot of the pitchers he has worked with haven't helped him much as far as holding runners on, but to say he doesn't have a strong accurate arm is way, way off base. His glove was an issue, but he seems to have improved there over the last couple of years. His baserunning however, yikes!
2005-11-09 08:08:50
21.   pistolpete
Ravenscar, did you even watch the ALDS?

Who was that guy throwing out Chone Figgins and Vlad?

2005-11-09 11:23:03
22.   jedi
I don't check stats much, but Piazza sure likes to bounce the ball alot to 2nd base. Last time I checked, Posada usually overthrows the relay to 2nd. So, I don't know how you can say Posada has a bad arm. Accuracy maybe, but weak, hell no.
2005-11-09 14:20:38
23.   Ravenscar
re: 19, 21, and 22

Guys. As I stated above, Posada's throwing HAS gotten better, in fact, it was noted somewhere earlier this year that this was his greatest year ever in throwing people out. HOWEVER, in his greatest year ever, he was still in the lower half of all MLB catchers in CS%. (I have been trying to find the listings of this stat but espn.com has taken down every year prior to 2005. I am still searching to see if this is retrievable somewhere, if anyone cares to help. When I did this same search in 2002, Posada had scored ONLY above Piazza and one other person who's name escapes me.) I don't care how many people he threw out in the playoffs or how impressive it it looked (hello sample size), does never placing among the top half of your peers in throwing out base stealers throughout your career translate into "strong arm"? Not by my judgment. Being in the bottom half for your whole career means quite simply and objectively that he has been below average.

And, let me be very clear: I would never, ever, ever, ever, ever say that Posada has been in any way shape or form worse than Piazza at throwing out runners. That would be an embarrassing statement. What I am saying is that being BETTER than Piazza sure as HELL doesn't mean you are above average.

This is a Yankee site, and I am not trying to be (nor do I believe I am actually being) disrespectful - the reason I have admired BronxBanter is its objectivity. When I saw Posada rear back and nearly punch an Oakland A's player who slid in rough in A's stadium, I knew the Yankees has a winner; and Posada has been a premiere offensive catcher, making up for his CS% the same way - if not to the HOF extent - as Piazza, with his bat. (And the argument can be made that Piazza HAD to be a HOFer, or he wouldn't have been any GOOD as a catcher.) My point simply is that it bears out (as soon as I find the damn figures) that throughout his career Posada's arm has been definitively below average, despite his great improvement this year.

If I am wrong, I will gladly eat crow.

2005-11-09 19:36:54
24.   Stormer Sports
It is not yet time to be dealing Jorge Posada. Posada has a few great years left in him, and I am not quite sure who Brian Cashman, other Yankee Factions or Advisors might see as a replacement. A curt look around the league garners scarce few catchers who would be an upgrade to Jorge Posada, who are available as free agents, or whose club may be looking to work a deal in the off-season.

I would like to see the Yankees draft a catcher and scour the entire Minor League system for a prospect who can be mentored and finally brought up to the Major Leagues to play behind Jorge Posada two years from now. This player need not be catching right now, but he's out there. I am confident that Jorge Posada--although not necessarily thought of as the contemporary of Zen Master Phil Jackson, or more near and dear, Joe Girardi of catchers--would pleasantly surprise both the Club and the fans with his ability as teacher and friend. We might just ultimately have a catcher who plays with Posada'a heart and intensity. Jorge Posada wants to win, make no mistake about it. Hang in with Jorge Posada.

I like the decision to run with Andy Phillips and Jason Giambi at first base. I have a good feeling about the direction of the team, insofar as the off-season plan is concerned.

2005-11-12 18:42:52
25.   Eleidy
OK FIRST OF ALL I AM SHOCKED AT HOW THE YANKEES KEEP MAKEING STUPID DECESSIONS...THE YANKEES NEED TO STOP WORRYING ABOUT THE WRONG ISSUES....COME ON JORGE POSADA SHOULD BE ON OF THE LAST THINGS ON YOUR MIND.YES JORGE'S NUMBERS HAVE DECLINED IN THE PAST 3 YEARS BUT EVEN WHILE HIS NUMBERS WERENT THE BEST HE WAS ONE OF THE TOP CATCHERS OUT THERE....HE HAD MORE RBI'S THEN GUYS IN THERE 20'S.....JORGE POSADA'S DEFENSE WAS PREETY MUCH GOOD IN THE 05 SEASON.AND ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE THINGS JORGE POSADA DOES IS OFF THE FIELD...HIS INSPIRATIONAL SPEECHES TO THE ROOKIES....HIS A MENTOR AND HIS GREAT....YEAH REALISTICLY WE WILL AHVE TO SAY GOODBYE TO JORGE POSADA BUT THAT SHOULDN'T BE NOW.....JORGE SHOULD GET A 2 YEAR DEAL CONTRACT.....AND YES THE YANKEES SHOULD DEFINTLY BRING NIVARRO BACK......HOPEFULLY JORGE COULD MENTOR HIM!!! NOT THAT BULLPEN!!!! THATS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE ON EVERYBODYS MIND....THAT CENTER FIELS SHOULD BE ON EVERYBODY'S MIND NOT JORGE POSADA......N PLUS I PERSONALY PLAY SOFTBALL N I AM A CATCHER AND THATS JUST THE MOST DIFFICULT POSITION ON AND OFF THE FEEL YOU GOTTA FEEL FOR HIM....

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