Yankees designate catcher Austin Romine for assignment

21 Comments

Sweeny Murti of WFAN reports the Yankees have designated catcher Austin Romine for assignment. This means that John Ryan Murphy will serve as Brian McCann’s backup this season.

A former top-100 prospect, the 26-year-old Romine struggled in Triple-A last season and batted just .182 (6-for-33) with one double and a .441 OPS over 18 games during Grapefruit League action. He entered this spring out of options, so the Yankees couldn’t send him to Triple-A without exposing him to waivers.

Murphy was No. 3 on the depth chart last season, but he was the favorite to backup McCann after Francisco Cervelli was traded to the Pirates over the winter. The 23-year-old batted .280/.318/.370 across 85 plate appearances with the Bombers in 2014.

Mariano Rivera awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
8 Comments

Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.

Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”

Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.