Yankees interested in John Buck?


Via Buster Olney (Insider req’d), the Yankees have some interest in free agent catcher John Buck, but they’re unlikely to offer him more than a one-year deal given the young catching they have coming up through the system. With Jorge Posada expected to take over as the full-time designated hitter, having a veteran catcher around to provide insurance behind Jesus Montero and Frankie Cervelli would be a wonderful thing. That said, Buck is going to try to cash in on the best year of his career (2.9 fWAR) as he should, so there’s a next-to-zero chance that he’ll settle for one year.

If anything, I expect the Yanks to sign some veteran to a minor league deal to stash in Triple-A, similar to Chad Moeller last year. There’s also a very real possibility that they’re trying to drive up the price for the Red Sox, who have legit interest in Buck.

  • Carlosologist

    This is just driving up the price for the Red Sox. Just the very mention of the Yankees immediately causes the price for a player to go up.

    • Brooklyn Ed

      Might as well drive up the price on V-Mart too. lol.

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    The Red Sox and Yankees are driving the price up for each other, neither really wants him. Buck sees tens of millions coming his way, and in the end, signs a 1-year $800,000 contract with the Marlins.

    • Bryan L

      I’d love to see the Sox sign neither Buck or V-Mart, and test their luck with Saltala-yips.

      • Dirty Pena

        I’d love to see them sign Buck, and feature his .311 career wOBA in the lineup.

        • FIPster Doofus


        • Tom Zig


        • Bryan L


          Watching Saltalamacchia throw the ball into Center Field while Theo Epstein panics is more fun.

          • Dirty Pena

            Salty has significant upside. I’d much rather the Red Sox stunt his development with someone we know sucks.

            • Bryan L

              C’mon now, really?

              The guy hasn’t been worth more than 0.4 WAR in his career.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Meh. Buck has power, but he’s a subpar OBP guy who isn’t any great shakes defensively. Boston can have him. I’d rather the Yankees sign Olivo if possible (it probably isn’t). At least he throws runners out at a high clip in addition to having a bit of pop in his bat.

  • mike c

    wtf, it’s just a buck

  • jeremy

    olivo, buck or barajas… who’s your pick? (for one year)
    mines probably olivo since he’s a solid defender and a decent hitter. Buck was released last winter by KANSAS CITY!!!!!!!!!!!! WARNING WARNING WARNING lol

  • The Three Amigos

    Unless the Yanks are really sending Cervelli down to AAA a catcher doesn’t make sense. Jorge will mainly DH, but he can still catch 50 games, and hopefully the chosen one will catch 80-100, which would leave 20 for cervelli in the most likely scenario.

    • All Star Carl

      They want Jorge to only DH.

      • The Three Amigos

        Cashman said there is a competition in ST for the starting catcher. What if Montero gets off to a slow start. There is no way Jorge is only DHing.

        • All Star Carl

          Montero, Romine, and Cervelli? Doubt all 3 start off slow.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Romine looks like trade bait right now.

          • Dirty Pena

            Romine isn’t gonna be in the majors at any point in 2011, and Cervelli sucks. Also, I haven’t seen anywhere the statement “Posada is only DHing.” I think you made that part up.

            • whozat

              “If things go the way at least we’re drawing it up, he’ll be in the lineup as the DH…But I told him he needs to prepare as a catcher at the same time, because it doesn’t mean things will go the way you expect. You’ve got underperformance, you’ve got injuries — you’ve got a whole number or host of reasons that can derail the best-laid plans. So he needs to be available to us to catch if necessary when called upon.”


              Direct quotes from Cashman. So, yes, they want him to be primarily the DH…but, obviously, it only makes sense to be prepared to be flexible.

              • MikeD

                That’s a big leap, though, to the line, “Posada is only DHing.”

            • kosmo

              Where did you hear that ? I´d bet Romine is a mid-season callup

  • AJ

    Wait, I’m confused…Posada isn’t going to catch at all? Or he’s the primary DH? Are we talking 20 games catching or 50-60?

    • AJ

      I don’t know if I like a DH who hits .248,. 357, .454. But then again it’s just a bad season..?

      • Mike Axisa

        DH’s hit .252/.332/.426 last year. Posada was considerably better than that even in his “down year.”

        • AJ

          Good point. Withdrawn. Rough year for DHs though.

          • Jimmy McNulty

            Rough year for bats in general.

            • MikeD

              Get used to it. If history serves as any guide (as it always does), hitting statistics will continue to decrease as the balance shifts back toward pitching.

  • yankees1717

    no unless he’s willing to take a cervelli role, which i find very unlikely. plus, there is absolutely no shot he would play in AAA after having a decent year last year.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    The only FA catcher I’d like to back up is Russell Martin, perhaps Miguel Olivo since you can’t count on Frankie playing more than 50 games.

  • bonestock94

    I’d certainly like to see Buck more than Cerv. If Montero breaks out they could always trade Buck at the deadline. Obviously this is nothing though.

    • bonestock94

      Wow, just looked at Buck’s career stats. He could very possibly be just as bad as Cervelli except much more expensive next year. Scratch previous comment.

      • Dirty Pena

        Exactly. Buck sucks.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    There was a Papelbon for Napoli rumor a while back, I’d like to check Mike Napoli out.

  • Jonathan

    I’ve watched Buck in KC for a long time and this is not a player you want on the Yankees. He threw out a decent percentage last year but the 3 years before that he threw out 16,17,21% of base stealers. He has a powerful arm but he’s extremely slow with his mechanics and also is BRUTAL at receiving. He can hit some HR’s but he’s just a mistake hitter who doesn’t take a walk well and is a slow low BA guy.

    If you take out last years outlier, he’s a CAREER 4.4 WAR player. Even if you count 2010 he barely breaks the 300 mark at .301 career OBP and his wOBA is .311. Last year was an outlier where he ran into a few more HR’s than usual and caught stealings. His walk rate even went down. He is the kind of guy who should be backing up a Yadier Molina. Whoever ends up with John Buck thinking they have a good starting catcher is fooling themselves.

  • Stratman9652

    Call me crazy but I have faith in what we’ve got for catching right now.

    Cervelli’s defense was to say the least, diassapointing, however he was once regarded as a strong defensive catcher. You don’t get that kind of reputation for nothing. The kid is still young and learning and I have no doubt he has the tools to be a strong defensive catcher once again. He blocks well, recieves well (when hes not bouncing around) and has a cannon of an arm. He really needs to calm down back there, many of his mistakes were due to lack of focus, jumping up on pitches, and rushing to make throws. I can’t write him off as a terrible catcher just yet.

    As far as Montero and Romine go if feel pretty much the same way. Montero has all offseason and spring training to get the kinks worked out and even if he is on par with Posada at defense, if his bat is what we expect I’ll be more than happy. I haven’t seen much of Romine but I’m impressed with what I have seen. He’s got a lot of potential and will most likely have most of the season in AAA to develope. I expect him to be a very good well rounded catcher.

  • LunaticFringe

    While Cervelli was poor defensively last season, I’m inclined to write it off as an anomaly. Due to a succession of injuries coming up through the minors, Cervelli only caught 209 games before reaching the Bigs. That’s seldom enough to provide the necessary foundation. Montero has caught more games than that. Cervelli carried a pretty strong defensive rep right up until this year. I think he’ll bounce back.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Ddoesn’t Buck try to throw out runners from his knees? Too slow to get up and throw?

  • MikeD

    I thnk it would be great if the Red Sox did sign Buck. Not a fan. On the other hand, it would be even funnier to watch their attempt to have Saltalamacchia catch most of their games. Players who get the yips never really totally recover, and he wasn’t good before that problem surfaced. I don’t think the Sox plan for Salty to be their everyday catcher, anymore than the Yankees ever planned for Bubba Crosby to be their starting CFer in 2006. They don’t want to appear desperate while kicking the tires of free-agent catchers, or more likely, trying to work out a deal for another catcher.

  • kosmo

    Torrealba makes more sense than Buck.He´d be an enormous defensive upgrade and he can hit and is comfortable in a backup role.