Nov
12

Cashman confirms Yankees will keep Cervelli but pursue other catchers

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Via Andy McCullough: Brian Cashman confirmed the Yankees will indeed tender Frankie Cervelli a contract prior to the December 2nd deadline, but the team will continue seek catching help in the coming weeks. “We have catching but we will explore if we can improve offensively at that position, and see where that will take us. There’s some [players] that interest us. Most don’t,” said the GM.

Cervelli, 27, hit .269/.377/.500 (143 wRC+) with three homers 61 plate appearances this past season before a broken hand, a stress reaction in his elbow, and a 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension ended his season. He’s projected to earn $1M next season, his first year of arbitration-eligibility, and I thought there was a chance the team would cut ties following the Biogenesis mess. The Yankees have been connected to free agent Brian McCann but that’s really it so far. Other available catchers include Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Carlos Ruiz, and A.J. Pierzynski.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League
  • forensic

    Hopefully Cashman not mentioning Stewart by name means it’s an actual possibility that they will non-tender him.

    • HateMclouth (formerly I’mVernon)

      Please please please please

  • FIPster Doofus

    Trade for Hanigan or, if he takes two or fewer years, sign Ruiz. Pass on the rest.

    • forensic

      Hanigan doesn’t really intrigue me, especially as someone you’d have to give up a player for (though I know it wouldn’t really be someone special). Just doesn’t seem like much of an upgrade to me. I’d rather just roll with Cervelli over Hanigan.

      I go back and forth on Ruiz and could probably be persuaded either way.

      • FIPster Doofus

        Hanigan’s good defensively and he gets on base. Those two traits would make him a marked upgrade over all the other catchers they used last season. If given the choice, I’d rather have him and a big-money OFer like Choo or Ellsbury than, say, McCann and a cheap OFer like David Murphy. The Yankees are supposedly going to hand out three huge deals this offseason (per Jeff Passan) and I don’t want one used on McCann or Salty.

        • Mac

          He has more experience, but Hanigan has the exact same career wRC+ as Cervelli.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Yeah, and Hanigan is a significantly better defender.

            • Mac

              Cervelli had a very strong defensive reputation coming up before losing it for a couple of years in fairly sporadic PT. You can’t really say anything definitively about how he will play going forward.

        • forensic

          Well, I’m not really saying McCann is the answer, especially at the prices being thrown around for his contract. And I certainly don’t want anything to do with Saltalamacchia.

          As far as Hanigan (who seems to have really gotten popular with people since Mike’s post, not you specifically, just in general), that getting on base won’t be as good once you take out the IBB he gets a lot, and potentially once you take him out of Cincy, where he’s hit a bit better over the course of his career. Also, his overall offensive numbers are right in line with Cervelli’s, including wRC+ (as Mac noted) and OPS+, which are exactly the same. Cervelli’s younger, cheaper, and farther from free agency, and won’t cost a player to acquire (if Hanigan is non-tendered, this obviously changes but then there is potentially more competition in terms of price). He’s probably fine defensively, as you say, but if the improvement Cervelli showed this year is for real, then so is he.

          • FIPster Doofus

            “He’s probably fine defensively, as you say, but if the improvement Cervelli showed this year is for real, then so is he.”

            Cervelli only played 17 games last season. Even Vernon Wells looked good early, so color me skeptical of Cervelli being new and improved. I’m OK with him as a backup, but if Hanigan is even close to Cervelli offensively – read: passable – and throws out 40-45% of runners, as he’s done during his career, that’s a legit starting catcher who will help NYY’s cause.

            Steamer projects Hanigan for 2.3 WAR next season, FWIW, which would be very solid at a low salary. To find a 2-WAR catcher at a cheap price would be huge for a team that’s aiming to cut budget while simultaneously attempting to land Cano, Tanaka and Choo for big bucks. Really, Hanigan is a perfect fit. I’ll be disappointed if he ends up elsewhere.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Then Cashman, in the full light of day, and in front of the media, pulled out his gun and shot Chris Stewart right in the head.

    Badass.

  • TheRealGreg

    Daniel Barbarisi ?@DanBarbarisi 13m
    Hal steinbrenner says yankees arent going to make changes in player development leadership this winter

    SMH

  • TheRealGreg

    Daniel Barbarisi ?@DanBarbarisi 13m
    Hal steinbrenner says yankees arent going to make changes in player development leadership this winter
    SMH

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    Stewart’s ineffectiveness has created a belief that catching is a dire need that should be in the fore-front of necessities this off-season. I don’t see any of Romine/Murphy or Cervelli being as ineffective. I’d rather use resources for outfield, pitching and 3rd/SS. But if I had to guess, I say Cashman goes after Hanigan.

    • Mac

      Stewart his at his career production and at one point mid-season the pitch framing metrics had his framing as worth something like 2 wins. I think the Yankees got exactly what they expected to get from Stewart. I’m sure they would have loved more, but I doubt they are as upset as most fans about it because it seems pretty obvious that they are looking at different metrics to judge success than fans. Most fans are unwilling to accept change, though. Same thing happened with advanced stats in general a few years back. As soon as it’s on fangraphs and Michael Lewis writes a book about it, fans will love pitch framing.

      • hey now

        I have to agree with this. The problem wasn’t Stewart producing exactly as Chris Stewart should produce, it was loading the lineup around him with limp noodles.

        On any given day, there were five Chris Stewarts in that lineup. From Ben Francisco to Brent Lillibridge and beyond, it was all just utter crap.

        Stewart makes an easy whipping boy, but he was far from their greatest problem.

  • Janice

    Have you come to any resolutions on changes to the player-development system?
    http://www.nj.com/yankees/inde....._week.html

    “Yeah, we have. We’ve made some changes. The vast majority of the changes will be procedural. We’ve changed a few coaches, and we’ve brought in a few people. But Cash spent a lot of time, a good two months, looking at process: How we do things, how people communicate with each other. And we found some things that we were not happy with. So we changed them.”

    But Mark Newman will still run development, and Damon Oppenheimer will still run the draft?

    “Mark is still there. Damon is still there.”

    In the same roles?

    “In the same roles.”

  • Janice

    Have you come to any resolutions on changes to the player-development system?
    http://www.nj.com/yankees/inde....._week.html

    “Yeah, we have. We’ve made some changes. The vast majority of the changes will be procedural. We’ve changed a few coaches, and we’ve brought in a few people. But Cash spent a lot of time, a good two months, looking at process: How we do things, how people communicate with each other. And we found some things that we were not happy with. So we changed them.”

    But Mark Newman will still run development, and Damon Oppenheimer will still run the draft?

    “Mark is still there. Damon is still there.”

    In the same roles?

    “In the same roles.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    I’d really rather they not keep him.

  • Mac

    Cervelli is a C with a wRC+ of 90 in 623 career PAs. His defense has been up and down, but looked back up most recently. He’s had some serious issues staying healthy, but I don’t think he was every a non-tender candidate. That offensive production is about in line with some of the top FA Cs that you seem to be lusting over (granted, the durability isn’t there).

    The Yankees do have catching. They have 5 decent Cs or C prospects on the 40-man (once Sanchez is added).
    It’s tough to both say every single day that the Yankees need to produce more players from their system, then turn around and write off all their top prospects before they get any chance to prove themselves. You laugh that they have Cs when they have two very strong C prospects and another former top prospect at the position, all of whom are knocking on the door. “We need great prospects to play in MLB!!!” “DON’T LET ANY OF THE PROSPECTS PLAY IN MLB!!!” Can’t have it both way.

    It’s funny that you list Salty and AJP as available Cs in some way implying that the Yankees should go after them since you laugh at their current options.
    People getting excited about Salty, by the way, are likely to be disappointed when his BABIP comes back down to earth and he’s producing marginally better offensively than Cervelli at 10x the price (granted he’s been much more durable).
    AJP has exactly one season since 2003 where he significantly outproduced Cervelli’s career offensive numbers. 1 in 10…
    I’m intrigued by Ruiz since he sustained success from 09-12, but even he was no better than Cervelli’s career offensive numbers in 2013.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    But if you project the rest of Cervelli’s 2013 (roughly 600 Total AB’s) then he’s got an wRC+ of 143,000.

    He then goes on to toss his bat aside and obliterate the HoF as he ascends into his planar form, draining the life energy from Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, and Mark McGwire.

    …right? Right.