The backstop conundrum

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Based on the rumors, as Ken Rosenthal reports them, the Yankees are interested in upgrading at catcher. Kenny says that Gerald Laird of Texas could be a potential match for the Yanks; we advocated for Josh Bard. Now while Laird has shown some ability to hit this year, his career numbers — .257/.308/.387 — are none too inspiring. >

But the bigger problem is the Yanks’ position. Everyone knows the team is looking for an upgrade over the Molina/Mueller tandem. Why would anyone be willing to sell for a reasonable price? Teams with excess catchers always have the upper hand in trade talks, and the Yanks would be buying from a position of weakness. Don’t expect a move behind the plate.

Ich bin ein rotation candidate
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  • TurnTwo

    i think i also read somewhere that the Yankees werent actually the ones initiating the catcher discussions; that it was other teams who have catchers calling the Yankees to see if they want an upgrade.

    in any case, unless Molina or Moeller gets hurt, i dont see an upgrade at catcher, either.

    • Cam

      You probably just read it on Pete’s blog, just like I did.

      • TurnTwo

        nah, i originally read it a couple days ago… i think it was on mlbtraderumors.

      • Chris

        It was from buster olney, yesterday or the day before…

  • Sherman

    I’d stick with Molina/Moeller. The only question is whether Molina will break down when saddled with more playing time, which is why Moeller is going to have to be worked into the mix. But, right now Molina’s defense and arm have almost taken opposing running games completely out of the equation, while he is not a very good hitter (understatement), there has to be something said for that.

    • A.D.

      I don’t think Molina will break down, he just could really not hit, which is pretty much expected, so not that big a downside

      • Sherman

        Yeah, I just don’t think it is the worst of our problems right now, and I was just worried because of his leg issues in the past. If Moeller goes every three games or so though, I’m sure Jose will be fine.

    • Dylan

      I agree. Laissez-faire, Molina has been dynamite on the defensive side, and there’s a lot to be said for shutting down running games.

  • A.D.

    I don’t really see a point in an upgrade given whats available:

    Miguel Olivo: Basically a young Jose Molina who should hit 10 pts higher
    Laird: While he could come over an put up some good offensive numbers, such as the .303 he has this year, he could also come over and hit .250. He’ll also probably cost the most
    Bard: could be intriguing with some of the offensive numbers he’s put up in years past, scary bad throwing out runners behind the plate last year, but was much better a few years ago, so last year could be a product of the staff.

    Keeping what we have costs nothing, both guys can call a good game and are good behind the plate, Molina is having a gold glove caliber season behind the plate (at least at throwing out runners).

  • MJ

    Agreed that the Yanks don’t have the upper hand when everyone knows that losing Posada hurts the their leverage. Then again, Texas might want to start moving their catchers since Laird, Ramirez, Saltalamacchia, and Teagarden can’t all be up in the big leagues at the same time. I would think that despite NYY’s lack of leverage, Texas would be a motivated seller with too much of one thing (catchers) and not enough of another (pitchers).

    Laird for a pitcher would be a sensible move on both sides.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      The issue, of course, is of what pitcher.

  • Adam

    can bonds catch?

  • Bo

    Let’s not be fooled into thinking we can’t improve this tandem by a winning streak. Laird/Molina would be a good combo. This is why you are stocked with pitching. Trade one for Salty who Texas has soured on behind the plate.

    • whozat

      Do you think Texas is stupid? They’re not going to take ONE pitcher for Salty unless it’s Hughes, maybe.

      Even for Laird…they have no need to trade him. They’re not taking McCutchen for him. It’s not a question of would Laird be an upgrade from Moeller. Probably. But is two months of Laird worth, say, Ian Kennedy?

    • Chris

      Salty has a 76 OPS+ this year. Would he really help at all? And if you’re looking at him long term, then what do you do with Posada and Molina?

      • Bo

        Molina isn’t a long term answer here and who knows if Posada will ever be able top catch again.

        Who knows what Texas wants for Salty. I’m not a GM. Either are you. And Texas certainly has a need to trade any of the three catchers because why keep 3 catchers when you are desperate for pitching.

        And lookee! The Yanks are stocked with pitching!

        • A.D.

          It actually 4 catchers Teergarden, Ramirez, Salty, and Laird

  • Sherman

    Shh don’t talk about Bonds, didn’t you hear we had a suicide threat yesterday? Wouldn’t want to anger the loonies

    • Adam

      oh wow, sorry, i missed that.

      BONDS BONDS BONDS BONDS BONDS BONDS BONDS BONDS!

      • Sherman

        haha, it was pretty ridiculous, I notice the guy isn’t back on today.

  • E-ROC

    I’d much rather have Josh Bard, but Kevin Towers doesn’t really want to move him. The next best thing is in Texas.

    In other news, Yu Darvish threw 165 PITCHES last night!!!!!

    • E-ROC

      Not name Gerald Laird when referring to what it’s in Texas.

    • Sherman

      Yeah, But Dice-K turned out to be such an overhyped over paid good-for-nothing hack.
      What? He is 11-1 with a 2.63 ERA….fuck.
      Think the sox will take Kei for him?

      • whozat

        Matsuzaka is walking more than FIVE batters per nine. He’s striking out a bit over 7 batters per nine. His WHIP is actually higher than it was last year. All signs point to a serious correction.

        • Sherman

          Maybe that’s just the type of pitcher he is….as much as a guy like that would scare me, it’s still pretty impressive. He is also insufferable to watch, i timed high twenties in seconds between each pitch, it’s like watching a stoned Hideo Nomo

          • Bo

            Who CARES how many he walks?

            He is 11-1 with a sub 3 ERA in the AL East.

            You do realize there is a thing called effectively wild, right?

            • whozat

              “Who CARES how many he walks?”

              Someone who’s interested in trying to project how he will perform in the future.

              “You do realize there is a thing called effectively wild, right?”

              It’s a fancy term for “lucky”. Over time, a K:BB ratio of approximately 1.2:1 is unlikely to correlate with success.

  • jsbrendog

    two words for catching problems…………….joe girardi

    player coach

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Dig up Connie Mack.

  • r.w.g.

    Just sign Barry.

  • Ed

    Why upgrade at catcher? We’re running two of Melky, Christian, and Gardner out there every night. I’d think you could get more of an offensive upgrade by replacing one of them than by replacing Molina, and outfielders better than our current guys are much easier to find than catchers better than what we have now.

    • Count Zero

      That is the heart of it — agreed. I would stand pat at catcher.

  • Sam

    As suggested on Deadspin, the Yankees need to go contact Brian Sabean right now and acquire Bengie Molina so that we can have the Molina Brothers catching platoon for the rest of the season! Please, Brian Cashman, make this happen and you WILL win a World Series.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Let’s get Yadier too.

      “What’s going on?”
      “It’s the Dukes… they’re trying to corner the orange juice market!”

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        “Looking good Billy Ray!”

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Feeling good, Louis!

  • mustang

    I agree with the thread at what it’s going to cost a catcher is not a need.

    1- Starter
    2- right-handed bat
    3- A lefty reliever at the right price it’s not really a need, but it would be nice.

    • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

      How about Washburn, Blake and Grabow? How could that cost that much?

  • radnom

    GIRARDE

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    It’s funny that so many people who post on this and other sites have given up on the Yankees prospects as busts, but thinks that they can return quality players for them. Either you think they stink and no one else in baseball is aware of it, or they are still highly regarded but you don’t have the patience to stick with them.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

      STOP ANALYZING MY HYPERBOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        2BFU! Or now, 2 Espy’s up!

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      This comment is so spot on. Well done, sir.

  • Old Ranger

    We do have a catcher coming back from injury…Cervelli. He is a better hitter then Moeller, and better in most other categories also. He almost made it out of ST, before he got hurt. Anyone know how his rehab is going? 27/08??

    • Ed

      Cervelli is on the DL at high A ball. I believe he returned from the wrist injury then hurt his knee after 3 games. He’s never played above A ball, so he won’t be seeing the majors for another couple of years.

      • Old Ranger

        Sorry Ed, he is on the 40 man and was in AA (I think) working his way back. If you say he got hurt again, I’ll take your word for that part. If he can come all the way back…he is an up grade on Moeller. 27/08??

  • LiveFromNewYork

    This is one of the reasons why the farm needs to be developed and not traded away . Every time the Yanks need something other teams want to hold them to a king’s ransom. Just because they are the Yankees.

  • Handsome B. Wonderful

    No one seems to be talking about Brandon Inge as a trade possibility:

    1) Wants out of Detroit, or at least wanted it in Spring Training when they brought in Miggy Cabrera, to the point where the Tigers considered offers.
    2) Can catch, play 3B, and OF.
    3) Right-handed bat.
    4) Not a great player, but a very useful one, and shouldn’t require trading huge chips from the farm system.

    I know Detroit’s not out of it by any means, but other than that, am I missing something? He’d seem to be an equal to a Laird or Barajas, and a better option than the DFA’ed Johnny Estrada. MAYBE its because he’s still signed for reasonable money?

    • Ed

      Detroit’s not trading Inge because Ivan Rodriguez will be gone after this season, making Inge the leading candidate to be their starting catcher next season.

      • Handsome B. Wonderful

        Is that a sure thing Pudge will be gone? Is he hinting at retirement? If not, and he could be had for less money, why would he want to leave a good situation in Detroit, hitting in that lineup? Plus, I’m not sure Dombrowski and the front office guys would be that keen on letting a guy who manages pitchers that well go IF they think he can still contribute offensively, as their pitching is in major flux.

        I wonder if to placate Inge about Cabrera, they told him that they wanted him to be the guy again behind the plate in 2009.

        • Ed

          For the first few months of the season, Pudge looked like he had nothing left. He’s picked it up recently though, so who knows for next year. But he’d have to take a massive paycut to come back – he’s making something like $13 million this year, whereas Inge is under contract for about $4 million.

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      Didn’t he shatter his rib cage in a pillow fight with his kids?

    • Old Ranger

      Inge has said, he didn’t want to be a catcher. He will spell the starter once in a while, but he will not be the starter.
      In regards to Rodriguez handling pitchers, you are kidding right? He has a long history of not going to the pitcher/catcher meetings and calling fastballs with men on base…which ain’t to good when every hitter knows this. Unless he has changed his ways…he handles pitchers OK, but he no Molina or even a Jorge. 27/08??

      • Handsome B. Wonderful

        I’ve read that Beckett, Pavano, and Penny loved him in 2003, and he was the main influence for Kenny Rogers going to Detroit in 2006– plus, he at one time was an excellent defender.