George A. King III of the New York Post heard last month that the Yankees might look to deal a catcher before they head back north for Opening Day.
That catcher could be Francisco Cervelli.
According to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish, the 28-year-old Cervelli is drawing “lots of trade interest” from front offices around the league. Cotillo says the White Sox are “among many teams” that have been monitoring Cervelli this spring in Yankees camp.
Cervelli is out of minor league options and the Bombers seem comfortable going with 25-year-old former Top 100 prospect Austin Romine as the backup to new starting catcher Brian McCann. So they might as well deal from a surplus and attempt to address an area of need (key word: attempt).
Cervelli is a .271/.343/.367 career hitter in 623 major league plate appearances.
He probably won’t fetch a high-impact return.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.