A really interesting debate came up this morning when I wrote about our newest minor league catcher, J.R. Murphy, that I believe deserves its own thread. I wrote:
Do we have too many catchers in the system? The typical answer is “You can never have too many catchers.” While I agree to a point, there is something here that the Yankees need to consider. Teams need a balanced minor league system. They need players at all positions to fill holes and move up the ranks. The best way to do this is to find players who will actually develop into major league players – to pick right. The Yankees have selected and paid big money to Jesus Montero, Austin Romine, J.R. Murphy, Kyle Higashioka, and Gary Sanchez to all possibly fill one position. Only Montero and maybe Murphy have a chance of moving to another position. At some point, the Yankees need to have the confidence to feel happy at catcher and try to fill other important positions. Trade bait is a good thing to have, but we’d rather develop a fill for a need.
To be graphical:
That is a lot of money to spend on catching. The Yankees have a lot of catchers in the pipeline. I understand that catching is a rare position and a surplus of catchers can easily be traded for other trade chips. However, remember that teams often value their own prospects more than the prospects of other teams. So, whenever trading away your own prospects for other assets, you are always swimming upstream. It costs less, both in money and assets, to develop your own pitcher or shortstop or right fielder than it does to trade one of your own developed players to fill that need. The exchange rate just isn’t to our advantage.
At some point, the Yankees need to have the confidence in their system to spend 3.7 million dollars (the cost of Sanchez and House) on other positions. They have to trust that somewhere in their array of catchers is a long term replacement for Jorge Posada. Money is a limited resource even to New York, and it needs to be spent as efficiently as possible.
But that’s my opinion. What do you guys think?
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