This winter Russell Martin will be entering his final year of arbitration before becoming a full fledged free agent in 2012. But if Yankee GM Brian Cashman has his way, the first string Yankee Catcher will be wearing pinstripes for the foreseeable future. This may appear at first blush to be a departure from the ‘Yankees don’t do extensions’ policy, but as a 3rd year arbitration player the team has an opportunity to buy out some FA years and save some money, which often isn’t the case with pending free agents. The NY Daily News has the report:
Russell Martin was so good last season that Brian Cashman said the catcher was “Thurman Munson-like” and the GM is open to discussing a multi-year deal for the backstop, who is under club control for next season.
What does that mean for Jesus Montero?
It’s unclear, although Cashman said he believed Montero could “be catching for us, a DH for us, a lethal bat off the bench for us” in 2012.
“All of the above,” Cashman said. “He’s a very talented young player that we feel can have an impact at the major-league level now. The tools he has provide us those choices. I guess it depends how the rest of our roster goes.”
The implications of a long term extension for Martin are fairly obvious. It signals to GMs with a need that other Catchers on the Yankee 40 man roster and those in the upper levels of the farm system are available to be discussed in prospective trade deals. That would mean Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine are all on the table in a suitable deal. Of course, the Yankees will need a backup Catcher of their own, so at least one of them will need to stick around. Traditionally, the backup role goes to a defensive specialist, given the dearth of good hitting Catchers and the needs of the team. But given that Martin is a defense-first Catcher himself who hits enough to be your first string receiver, you could argue that the Yanks could carry Montero as their backup and regular DH. But there’s one major flaw in this line of thinking. Should Martin get hurt and be disabled for an extended period of time, you will need someone who can adequately field the position on an everyday basis. From what I saw of Montero last year I don’t think anywhere near being ready to catch everyday. Especially someone like AJ Burnett or David Robertson that have nasty hooks, or facing an opponent that likes to run the bases. In those instances, a poor defender can cost you games. That’s before we get into the nuances of Catching such as pitch framing that can have a more subtle (but important) impact.
There’s a second angle to extending Martin. If Montero makes big strides as a defender or a lower level prospect like Gary Sanchez or Isaias Tejeda moves quickly, you could always trade Martin down the road to a team that needs an everyday Catcher. Never forget that good everyday Catchers are exceedingly rare, and therefore worth a lot on the trade market. His injury history should keep the number of years on an extension down to a reasonable number (I would estimate 3 or 4) so extending him doesn’t signal a death knell to every catcher in the Yankee system, but it does have some impact on the immediate needs of the MLB club and may provide a window into how the Yanks plan on approaching this offseason.
LIKE TYA ON FACEBOOK
- TYA To Merge With It’s About The Money, Stupid
- What about Kevin Youkilis?
- Teix Now Front And Center On The “Needs To Produce” Radar
- Cashman: Heathcott A Dark Horse Candidate
- A Dog Chasing Cars
- Outfield Trade Targets
- The Problem With Brett Gardner
- A Look At Relief Prospect Branden Pinder
- The Yankees Should Be Realistic, Put Team on Short Leash in 2013
- Briefly discussing the internal options to replace Curtis Granderson
- Brenna on Links: Prospects, Support for A-Rod, Mariano is Love and Who’s in Center?
- Louis Vuitton Outlet Sale Singapore on The Monthly Prospector: April Edition
- Authentic Louis Vuitton Outlet Store on The Monthly Prospector: June Edition
- Louis Vuitton Outlet San Diego on Banuelos to Undergo Tommy John Surgery, Yankees Prospectors to Undergo Grief Counseling
- related web site on The Great Subway Race
- get your lover back on Contact Us
- Dorothy Silvan on Pineda’s Torn Labrum, or Does the lemon law apply to baseball?
- tao of badass on Open Thread | Game 3 | Detroit Tigers vs. New York Yankees | Sunday, April 3, 2011
- tube launch review on Why Has Attendance Fallen Year-To-Year?
- Evon Znidarsic on Teixeira MRI Update, Babe Ruth Pitching In Pinstripes, And Jeter’s Gift Baskets
TagsA.J. Burnett Alex Rodriguez Andy Pettitte Austin Romine Baltimore Orioles Bartolo Colon Boston Red Sox Brett Gardner Brian Cashman Bullpen CC Sabathia Chien-Ming Wang Cliff Lee Curtis Granderson David Robertson Dellin Betances Derek Jeter Francisco Cervelli Freddy Garcia Game Recap Hiroki Kuroda Ivan Nova Javier Vazquez Jesus Montero Joba Chamberlain Joe Girardi Johnny Damon Jorge Posada Manny Banuelos Mariano Rivera Mark Teixeira Melky Cabrera Michael Pineda New York New York Yankees Nick Johnson Nick Swisher Phil Hughes Prospects Rafael Soriano Red Sox Robinson Cano Russell Martin Tampa Bay Rays Yankees