Let’s just jump right into this. There are two main reasons why the Yankees shouldn’t release him:
1. Money. Jorge Posada will make $13.1MM in 2011. Obviously, some of that is already paid but there’s still a good deal of time and money left on that. The Yankees (and all other teams, really) should not be in the business of paying layers NOT to play for them. It’s just…silly. Why risk having to pay Posada to play–and play well–for someone else?
2. Performance. The overall line–.296 wOBA not counting yesterday–may not look all that pretty, but he is trending the right way. His May wOBA is up from .268 in March/April to .335 in May. That’s good for a 111 wRC+ and is an obviously fantastic improvement from April. He’s lowered his strikeout rate (albeit by just over 1%), and he’s also raised his walk rate about 8% (11% to 17.9%) to a very productive rate. His LD% is still a bit low at 17.6 for May, but, again, it’s a big improvement over April/May. This has led to a big jump in BABIP from .065 (!!!!!!!) to .353. What’s troubling is the power disappearance. Posada’s SLG in May has been just .348 (.087 IsoP), but he’s taking walks and hitting the ball with more authority. Those are good signs and I think we’re going to see Posada turn it around soon.
There’s another secondary reason, and it’s the fact that the replacement options aren’t necessarily in place. The Yankees could call up Jesus Montero to replace Posada, which wouldn’t be bad, but I have a feeling they want to see him find his power stroke (again) before bringing him up. A lot of people have been clamoring for Jorge Vazquez, but I don’t think that would be smart. He’s had a lot of strikeouts and few walks in the minors and I don’t think it would be much different in the majors. They could explore the trade market, but there might not be much out there right now and it may be overpriced.
Jorge Posada’s had a rough go of things in a lot of ways in the first two months of the season but that doesn’t mean he should be let go. My love for Jorge is well known and you may accuse me of looking threw tinted glasses, but whatever. This would go for any player making that amount of money with signs of rebound emerging.
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