With Francisco Cervelli slated to miss six weeks following surgery today to repair a fractured right hand, the Yankees have recalled catcher Austin Romine to replace him on the active roster.
Romine was hitting .333 (14-for-42) with one home run and four RBI over his first 14 games this season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 24-year-old backstop was limited to just 31 games last season due to a back injury and missed some time in 2011 to a concussion and back stiffness, so his stock has faded in recent years, but he’s finally healthy this season. He owns a .280/.334/.414 batting line and a .748 OPS over parts of seven seasons in the minors and appeared in nine games with the Yankees in 2011.
Chris Stewart is starting behind the plate today, but since he’s a .222/.285/.310 career hitter, it might not take much for Romine to play his way into a significant role.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.