The talk going in to the season was that Jorge Posada’s days as a catcher were over. The Yankees have stayed true to that plan too, as he has not donned the tools of ignorance since spring training.
But before yesterday’s game, Joe Girardi conceded that, yes, Posada is the team’s “emergency catcher.” Which normally doesn’t mean much because most emergency catchers never catch. But in the Yankees’ case you might want to replace “emergency” with “backup.”
Why? Because despite the fact that the Yankees won’t put him on the disabled list for some reason, Russell Martin is hurt, with back and toe problems, and his backup — Francisco Cervelli — stinks. One foul tip and/or one Joe Girardi meltdown over just how bad Cervelli is back there, and Posada is in the game, ain’t he?
Of course the wild card here is Jesus Montero, who remains at Scranton for reasons that are only clear to Brian Cashman. I mean, no, he’s not tearing up the pea patch at the plate or anything, but he’s been solid enough compared to Cervelli. One wonders if they want to keep him down on the farm so as to preserve his marketability a bit in advance of the trade deadline, with the thinking being that if he came up to the bigs he wouldn’t hit and then no one would be willing to trade a front line starter for him. In the minors, every big prospect has the sheen and gloss of potential.
Oh well, that’s between Brian Cashman and his God. Or Randy Levine, whichever one ranks higher in the Yankees organization.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.