The New York Yankees have to divert whatever attention is left from all the Cliff Lee drama, but there is no denying the painful disappointment still lingers.
Why is signing Russell Martin such a positive? For two reasons:
1. From veteran Jorge Posada to top prospects Austin Romaine and Jesus Montero, as well as current back-up Francisco Cervelli, Yankees have a plethora of uncertain players to fill the catcher position. In 2009, Posada, with 16 seasons and 39 years of age under his belt, had it all catch up to him. Cervelli was a productive hitter at the start of last season, but like Posada couldn’t hold runners on base, throwing out 14 percent of attempted basestealers. That’s only one percent difference from Posada, who never was known for his throwing arm, but who made up for it with his power bat. Martin brings a big upgrade defensively, throwing out potential basestealers at a 31 percent clip for his career, and 39 percent last season. Adding Martin to the mix gives the Yankees necessary breathing room to bring up the two up-and-comers, Romaine and Montero, at an acceptable pace.
2. Russell provides General Manager Brian Cashman room to dangle Romaine and Montero as trade bait; with the hopes to fill the spot left open by Lee. It is no secret that the Yankees need to attain another starting pitcher to finalize the rotation. Word is that Andy Pettitte is actually going to return in 2011. Pettitte’s return brings reinforcement because the Yankees can afford to wait for the best trade before the season’s July 31st trading deadline. A retired Pettitte would leave another vacant spot that could be Sergio Mitre’s–God-forbid. No matter what, Martin gives the flexibility and Pettitte allows for patience. This could result in a better option down the road, as there are always teams that want to unload by the All-Star Break. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Theory On Plan B Signing Catcher Russell Martin’ »