Cashman: Yankees continue to seek a right-handed hitting outfielder

Baseball America on Adonis Garcia
Minor League Signings: Perez, Romanski, Smith

During a recent radio interview, Brian Cashman told Jim Bowden he is still looking to add a right-handed bat before the end of the offseason. Both Juan Rivera and Matt Diaz joined the team on minor league deals earlier this winter, while Melky Mesa and Ronnie Mustelier represent internal options.

There are literally zero right-handed hitting outfielders who played exclusively in the big leagues last year left in free agency. The crop of minor league free agents includes guys like Brett Carroll, Jason Michaels, Jason Repko, and former Yankee Chad Huffman. There’s a chance Russ Canzler will clear waivers and we should never rule out a trade, but overall it is not a pretty sight out there. I’ll be surprised  if Cashman’s able to add someone better than Diaz or Rivera between now and the start of camp.

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Baseball America on Adonis Garcia
Minor League Signings: Perez, Romanski, Smith
  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    I feel the same about the catching position at this point. I honestly expected to see Cashman make a trade, but now, it’s Cervelli’s job to lose…I guess?

    • trr

      apparently, the dream is that Austin Romine will be the starting catcher by say, oh, August 1…

      • Yogiism

        Not happy about that. But what do I know. They need some depth at AAA, so Romine is the odd man out in this case. I was a proponent earlier on about carrying all three on the team come opening day, but baseball wise, they can’t. They need that depth at AAA. I do think he’ll be with the team by June 1, however. Once the season starts to take shape (winning/losing) we’ll see who have a more important role looking forward. Plus it would be shocking to see Cervelli, in his overly aggressive style, to get decimated and tackled at that plate, therefore, requiring us to call up Austin.

        • jjyank

          Yeah, it’s not ideal. I would like to see Romine get the job, though. By no means should he be handed the job, but I feel like if they’re gonna suck at that position, might as well go with the guy that has some upside and a chance to be a long term piece. It might make sense to leave him in AAA for a couple months, though.

          • Barry

            So you’d rather hamper his development by putting him right into the mix on the MLB level? He has 30 games above the AA level and 13 of them were in 2011. He’s not ready for the MLB, team is better off letting him play with no pressure in AAA and bump him up when he shows he’s ready.

            • jjyank

              If he spends a couple of months in AAA before being called up, I don’t think it’s necessarily hampering anything. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. Not every burrito requires the same amount of time in the microwave.

              • Barry

                I agree, nothing worse than an over nuked burrito. But I also think that he needs close to a full season at AAA. AAA will also be a lot better for development this year as they’ll have a real home field again and all the advantages that brings. In the long run though bringing him up prematurely would be a lot more damaging than bringing him up late.

                • jjyank

                  Sure, but that depends on how close he is. None of us really know. If he’s hitting well in AAA by June, and Cervelli/Stewart suck, I don’t see the problem. I wouldn’t keep Romine in AAA all year just because that’s what the prospect handbook says. Which brings me back the my original comment where I said “by no means should he be handed the job”. If he earns it, give it to him. I just would hate to see him earn it and still spend the whole year in AAA just because.

                  • Barry

                    I agree the show me factor outweighs all but he hasn’t shown much as of yet. He missed a lot of time last year. He may not even make it very far into camp before getting sent to the minor league camp.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      You’re just throwing shit at the wall at this point… I’d give up while you’re behind instead of getting into things you don’t seem to know much about.

                    • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula

                      There’s absolutely no evidence that Romine is ready for the bigs which is why by all indications he’s likely to start in AAA.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Romine spent a second full season in AA because he had Montero in front of him. He also has 105 PAs above AA under his belt (20 in MLB). So, overall, I think it’s less likely he needs a full season at AAA than the average player. Not that some players need any time at all in AAA.

                  • Barry

                    71 last year that were not impressive.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      So… You agree with my point that he’s played above AA. Great. He was coming off a serious back injury, so there’s plenty of reason to think that was not indicative of his healthy skill level.

                      Your general premise that skipping levels hampers development is flat out wrong as a sweeping statement. I can give you dozens of examples of players who skipped levels and thrived. So, I was pointing to some basic evidence of why Romine might not need a full season in AAA. It ultimately comes down to his health, skill development, and mostly performance, but there’s reason to believe that he doesn’t need much time in AAA after spending two full seasons in AA.

                    • Barry

                      Yeah because Romine is a top level talent who’s performances has justified him skipping levels right to the MLB. OOOO-K

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  Without watching any of the three of them play in ST, the most logical argument for making Romine the least likely option is who has options and who doesn’t.

                  I’d honestly want to see how Romine holds up back-wise in AAA before I send one of the other catchers packing.

                  • Barry

                    My sentiment exactly. I just don’t think he’s ready and it wouldn’t be fair to put the rookie destroying NY pressure on him yet.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      You don’t think he’s ready based on what?

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      You’re entitled to your opinion on this, and I’m sure you’re not the only one who feels that way, but that’s not exactly what I said.

                  • Barry

                    No but I agree with you that I’d like to see what he can do at AAA before I say he should be the backstop over Stewart/Cerveli. Going to get probably equivalent performance from that duo without starting Romine’s service clock.

                    And Nelson I don’t think he’s ready because he hasn’t had an impressive performance. His highest wOBA was .334 and that was his 2nd and not full season at AA. He’s not Jesus Montero who’s bat was just ridiculous enough to justify bringing him up, which they didn’t

    • Ted Nelson

      My guess is that it is Stewart’s job to lose. If they were confident in Cervelli as even a back-up C, I think that they could have gotten a C cheaper than Stewart (who cost them Kontos) with options/on a MiLB deal to play in AAA as insurance. I think they value Stewart more than Cervelli to trade an asset for him knowing it was going to send Cervelli to AAA for the year.

      • Barry

        I think you’re right. Girardi was never a very good hitter so he probably isn’t too deterred by having almost no production with the bat from the C position. They say Stewart is an asset on defense and that’s probably all they care about.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          While I agree with your assessment that “they” value defense more than offense, based on Cashman’s interview, it seems that he calls the shots on the players on the team and Girardi just puts them in the best position possible to succeed. So it’s Cashman that values D from a catcher more than offense.

          • Barry

            Girardi is the one that communicates on field results to the upper-management. That’s why they chose him for the job. To manage the players. If he said “Stewart can’t start, we can’t have him starting at C” then the team would react accordingly.

            • Ted Nelson

              Cashman specifically said in his interview that he tells Girardi what a certain player’s role is. Check out the interview.

              He basically said that Girardi sets the line-up, with input from Cashman, and manages the day-to-day of the team. However, he does not decide on a player’s role.

              • Ted Nelson

                *sets the specific order of the line-up.

                • Barry

                  If this is true, and it probably is and I just missed it, Girardi should quit.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Again, dude, read the fucking article that was linked to from this very site instead of making things up about subjects you know nothing about.

                    • Barry

                      Again dude you’re a dick for no reason and I said I must of missed it. Go get a lolli-pop and bang your stick on someone else’s door. Big deal you read an article, congrats ;)

              • The Big City of Dreams

                Check out the interview.

                ——————–

                Where can I hear the interview

                • Ted Nelson
                • RetroRob

                  Cashman’s comments as they relate to Girardi make sense. There was a time when the manager was the field general and pretty much had the final say in on-field decisions.

                  The game has changed greatly on that front over the years, with the manager being an extension of the front office. It’s not a negative. They just work much more closely together on player decisions.

      • Midland TX

        Someone (maybe you?) linked this article which discusses one attempt to value Stewart’s defense:

        http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....se-molina/

        • RetroRob

          Of course, they just let Russell Martin leave, and Martin once again rated as one of the top pitch-framing catchers in MLB, second behind Molina in the AL. We also know Martin can catch a full season, can draw walks and hit about 20 HRs. Stewart???

          It may be that the Yankees through their own statistical analysis, as well as standard talent evaluation, think very highly of Stewart. We’re about to find out.

  • Minor Leaguer

    Can’t we release Canzler and resign him, what about Carlos lee who isn’t really much o an OF. Also you can’t forget about Thomas Neal who can hit for some good power but mainly average and great defense.

    • Yogiism

      Carlos Lee no longer serves a real purpose. Youk essentially becomes Tex’s back up for days off, etc. Nix fills in. Hafner is the DH. I’m pretty sure the team as we see it right now will be the team for the next few months, pending spring tryouts.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      A player still has to go through waivers before you can release him. The system is set up so players can remain on the 40-man roster as long as possible.

  • Yogiism

    All for the Diaz/Rivera/Mesa/Mustelier try out. Diaz seems the most likely as his upside is the greatest at this point. The two M and M kids in the minors could surprise us. That would be fun. Quite frankly, unless the Yanks are going after a name brand for a good price, I think the team (in terms of signings) is pretty much complete.

  • Tim

    Alfonso Soriano anyone? I know he’s mainly a LF’er but is he an option via trade if Cubs eat most of the salary?

    • jjyank

      I’m not sure there’s room with Hafner on the team now. With him at DH, and an outfield of Gardner, Granderson, and Ichiro, I don’t think there’s room. I like the idea, but he’d have to be real cheap to justify using him as a platoon bat/4th OF/back up DH. In that case (the necessity for him to be cheap in both dollars and prospects) I don’t see the Cubs moving him.

    • Barry

      Soriano is still a pretty good LF’er so it would be less valuable for him to sit on the bench or DH. Would love to see him back in pinstripes but there’s no way to know how he would handle the DH role when he’s never been in that position. Half his value is in the field. If Gardner(or Ichiro) were to get hurt and they needed a new LF’er part way through the season he’d be worth acquiring for sure. The Cubs can demand more because he’s a contributor in the field and with a bat. If he could only hit and couldn’t field for shit then he would be a lot cheaper.

  • Greg

    All of the choices suck. That’s what happens when you have no money.

    • Ted Nelson

      Yeah, because 4th OFs are usually so costly…

      • Alkaline

        Well, we should sign/trade for a legitimate starter to sit on the bench as our 4th outfielder (because they obviously would be okay with that). They wouldn’t consider consistent playing time and opportunities priorities. They would just be grateful they’re playing on the Yanks!

    • Barry

      The issue isn’t them having no money. There aren’t any real upgrades available.

  • Jacob The OG (formerly Jacob)

    No surprise here but glad to hear him reasure us that he is still looking and has not given up.

  • Ted Nelson

    I think the best course of action might be to do nothing before ST. See how Diaz and Rivera look in ST–the other guys’ too, but those are the guys you probably either play in MLB or lose–determine how badly you think you need to acquire someone else and see who becomes available during/after ST.

    • Eli Whiteside

      My thought would be to try to sign Scott Rolen and to use Youk at DH agianst LHP when Haffner is on the bench. Rolen fits our average age and proves insurance when Youk gets hurt.

      • Barry

        Rolen has said that if he doesn’t retire he’ll pretty much only play for the Reds I believe.

      • Ted Nelson

        I think that they already have enough RH bats to rotate through at DH the 1/3 of the time a LH starts. Guys like Nix and Nunez hit LHP respectably, so they can give Jeter or Youk or Tex or Cano a day off in the field with a LHSP on the mound. If Hafner’s healthy and hitting well, he might be a pretty good option against LHP: career 117 wRC+ vs. LHP, though that’s fallen off with his overall performance recently.

        Rolen provides little versatility, and hasn’t hit particularly well the last couple of years either. They already have one full-time DH, so some guys who can play multiple positions would be nice. Someone like Nix might not be much worse offensively than Rolen these days, and plays 2B/SS.

  • http://none Favrest

    Yanks need some youth out there. Let Mesa and the Cuban fight it out. Rivera is done.

    • jjyank

      Ha, “Mesa and the Cuban”. This has meme potential.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        It’s a well-know fact that you never really need to call us by our actual names. We just respond to “Yo, Cuban!”

        Ronnie Mustellier, Cameron Diaz, and I are exactly the same person.

        • Barry

          Cuban sandwiches?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’m fine with what I’ve got at home. She’s aged better than Cameron.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Looks like I had two comments made on the IPad in the Garcia thread that didn’t make it even though my IPad told me they’d be published. Oh well.

    You should always continue to look. There also seem to be enough options in the org already with the MiLB signings, internal pieces, and random, nameless Cubans in order to have a healthy competition. You can always improve on the position as well as the season wears on.

    • Barry

      But this team suxxxxxxxx and they didn’t do a thing to improve it!

  • Magilla Gorilla

    That righty outfielder may also be pinch running for Travis Hafner quite a bit. So maybe a young guy who can play the outfield and run the bases. Is that Melky Mesa?

  • 189,189,189,

    just think if you want to see the minor league team…dont go to trenton…just go to the bronx……….189,189,189,….and 1500 a ticket,yeah right!

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    actually since the Yanks aren’t doing anything to improve team and spend money till 2014 I wpuldn’t mind them seeing loss as many games and also get a very low draft pick to help to rebuild the farm. Dont even think the’ll make the playoffs this yr so while were getting under $189M lets try to get a Top 10 pick in the draft

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    When the Rockies cut me I am ready to forgive and forget.

    Sincerely,
    Greg Golson