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Yankees catching prospect Austin Romine likely to begin season in minors

Jan 4, 2013, 4:25 PM EDT

New York Yankees manager Girardi talks with catcher Romine during a workout in Tampa Reuters

Everyone keeps waiting for the Yankees to do something about their underwhelming catching situation, but no moves appear to be on the horizon and today general manager Brian Cashman revealed that catching prospect Austin Romine is likely headed to Triple-A.

“I expect Romine to go to Triple-A,” Cashman said, via Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. “He missed all of last year, almost … I don’t expect him to be our everyday catcher out of the gate. He always has the possibility of taking it, but realistically, if I were in prediction mode, I’d say Triple-A.”

That makes sense, as Romine played just 31 games last season and never put up big numbers offensively to begin with, failing to crack an .800 OPS in any of his six seasons in the minors.

However, that would also seemingly mean the Yankees are willing to go into the season with a catching duo of former backup Francisco Cervelli–who spent most of last season at Triple-A himself–and journeyman Chris Stewart. Cashman said the Yankees are comfortable “going internal” with Cervelli and Stewart, but that has the potential to be one of the worst-hitting duos in baseball.

  1. cackalackyank - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:31 PM

    Loving that A-rod contract right now, really loving it.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      So is the rest of the league.

      • bigharold - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:39 PM

        Leave A-Rod Alone! Where’s Len when you need him.

      • proudlycanadian - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:42 PM

        Good question Harold. I also miss Len.

  2. yankeepunk3000 - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:38 PM

    I agree that arod contract is destroying us….I woah there would be some way to get rid of him bit it looks like the team is stuck with him another 5 year’s…no team is going to take a 38 year old 3rd basemen with no hip…

  3. anxovies - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    Stewart should win the job and the Yanks will do OK with Cisco as backup. Stewart was impressive behind the plate and has the knack of hitting when it counts, although he has no power. Cervelli is a marginally better hitter but not as good defensively. Also, if Stewart gets consistent ABs he may hit a lot better.

    • alang3131982 - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:56 PM

      Stewart bats .133/.304/.244 with 2 outs and RISP
      Stewart Bats .213/.315/.319 in late and close games
      Stewart bats .197/.291/.250 in tie games
      Stewart bats .206/.271/.274 in one-run games
      Stewart bats .224/.321/.286 in high leverage.

      Stewart sucks at hitting

      • lazlosother - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Goddammmit, reality is the last thing we NY fans need right now. Delusion is where it’s at, please don’t ruin it.

  4. yanks33 - Jan 4, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I would rather see Cervelli start if i had to pick between those 2, altho if Romine was an option i’d much rather see him behind the plate

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

      If the choice is between Stewart or Cervelli, I’d rather take option C and eat a bullet.

      ugh this year is going to be rough…

  5. rcdck - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:04 PM

    Legitimate question: what happens with guaranteed contracts if the player dies, say, halfway through? Does the contract still get paid to next of kin? Does it count against the luxury tax at all?

    • bigharold - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      You planing on knocking off A-Rod? You ARE a Yankee fan.

      BTW, I don’t know the answer.

    • jwbiii - Jan 4, 2013 at 7:46 PM

      From the recent CBA, it looks like the luxury tax hit stays:
      “ARTICLE XXIII—Competitive Balance Tax
      C. Determination of Actual Club Payroll
      (2) Rules for Allocation of Salary
      (d) Termination of Contract
      (i) If a Club terminates a Uniform Player’s Contract that covers
      a single championship season, the Club shall include in its
      Actual Club Payroll for the Contract Year in which that season
      falls any Salary paid to that Player, either under this Agreement
      or a Special Covenant to the Contract (subject to any offset called
      for by this Agreement or a Special Covenant).
      (ii) If a Club terminates a multi-year Uniform Player’s Contract
      while it remains obligated to pay Salary under either this
      Agreement or a Special Covenant to the Contract, Salary shall be
      allocated to that Club for each Contract Year during which its
      obligation continues. Salary shall be attributed to each such Contract
      Year pursuant to this Article XXIII (subject to any offset
      called for by this Agreement or a Special Covenant). This attribution
      shall apply even if the Club pays the Salary in advance.”

      It seems to be no different than Jason Bay or Chone Figgins being released with time and money left on their contracts.

  6. jwbiii - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:09 PM

    Romine missed most of last season with disc problems in his back. This is not a good sign.

  7. uyf1950 - Jan 4, 2013 at 5:40 PM

    Fully expect to see him up with the big league team the 1st week of May. I’m pretty sure the Yankees will see what he’s got in spring training and then give him a chance to get some AB’s in Triple A then call him up.

    • bigharold - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:52 PM

      Could be but even Romine isn’t projected as a big threat with the bat. According to what I’ve read he is far better defensively.

      Yankee fans got spoiled a bit with Posada all those years. Martin wasn’t nearly as good but he wasn’t terrible, .. most of the time. Catchers with pop are hard to come by. I’d settle if Romine can hit .250ish a be the “plus, plus” defender he is projected to become.

    • theskinsman - Jan 4, 2013 at 8:07 PM

      I see this as the biggest issue the Yanks have. Getting a catcher to handle a pitching staff well is not easy.especially if you have to wait for your guy to get to the big show. Least interchangeable position,IMO.

  8. cosanostra71 - Jan 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    Hey, they could always hit up the Marlins about Jeff Mathis. This has to be the only time where he would actually represent an upgrade.

  9. jfk69 - Jan 7, 2013 at 5:32 AM

    If A Rod can catch……He will be the best hitting catcher on the team,,,Former glory regained

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