Cafardo: Austin Romine is “very much available”

Fan Confidence Poll: December 30th, 2013
Holiday Mailbag: Dean Anna

Via Nick Cafardo: Austin Romine is “very much available” now that the Yankees have added Brian McCann. The team also has some upper level catching depth in Frankie Cervelli and J.R. Murphy. Cervelli figures to serve as McCann’s backup while Murphy is slated for Triple-A Scranton.

Romine, 25, hit .207/.255/.296 (48 wRC+) with one homer in 148 plate appearances as Chris Stewart’s backup this past season. He never really showed much promise outside of a few weeks in late-July and early-August either. I’m in favor of keeping as much catching depth as possible — Cervelli isn’t exactly Mr. Durable and Murphy can use the regular playing time in Triple-A — but if some team wants to blow the Yankees out of the water with an offer for Romine, great. Pull the trigger. If not, hang onto him as long as possible.

Fan Confidence Poll: December 30th, 2013
Holiday Mailbag: Dean Anna
  • Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    I honestly would rather be shopping Cervelli than Romine for a few reasons. Let us not forget that Romine lost a lot of development time the last few years due to injuries, I don’t think what he hit in the show in 2013 is indicative of his talent level going forward. Also I don’t think that teams are exactly lining up to trade for him either. Cervelli is way more expendable IMO. Even in the brief stint in the majors last year as the starting catcher, the numbers Cervelli put up (maybe due to PEDs but who knows) would make him a more attractive trade candidate, and I think the Yankees could get a lot more in return.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I think that, until Cervelli actually gets on that field and maintains what we were seeing in 2013, you’d be selling very low on him right now (not that there’s ever been a time to sell high on him.)



        • W.B. Mason Williams

          COMO? NO TE PUEDO OIR.

    • Laz

      Cervelli still figures to start 40-50 games a year at catcher, and that is assuming no injuries. Catcher is the one position that I’m very happy to have a strong backup. Murphy you could really keep in minors another 1.5 years, and then 1-2 years to work him into a mlber and by then McCann’s contract wrapping up.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      I would hold onto all the catchers for the time being. I like the idea of Romine & Murphy splitting the catcher/dh gig at scranton w/perhaps both getting some time also at the corner infield spots thrown in for good measure, & we can see where both the Yanks and the two kid catchers are following 2014.

      If they do deal Romine, I’d figure he’d be part of a package more than a one for one kind of trade. Could see something along the lines of Gardner, Romine, & a pitcher for a quality arm/player that fits one of the needs on the mound or left side of the infield.

      Of course, the worry here, at least for me, is the guy they want requires substituting Murphy instead. I don’t want to lose Murphy as I believe he’s really going to be a quality big leaguer. He’s a real deal kid who I’d bet would do at least a pretty solid/serviceable job of filling in at 3b as well if he had to. Regardless, if they can manage to hold onto Murphy, within a year or two, you could envision him playing the majority of games behind the plate & McCann d/h’g a lot.

  • Slu

    I can’t imagine getting anything of any value for him, but hey, there is a sucker born every minute.

  • Darren

    I wonder what would qualify as blowing the Yanks out of the water. What’s fair value for Romine at this point? A Jason Nix-level utility guy? Is blowing the Yanks out of the water a Phelps or Warren-level 6th starter?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I can’t imagine anything more than a fringe swingman type. Sometimes those turn into Shawn Kelley, though.

      So, yes, anything above that would probably be overpaying.

    • Laz

      Stewart cost a middle reliever. Romine a bit better so maybe, something bit higher than that.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    “Hello… this thing on? Hello……”


    “While he may be available, unfortunately for Betty, he’s no Russell Martin where it counts.”

    • Betty Lizard

      Let me test that out and get back to you.

  • jim p

    I used to work for a guy, if you didn’t do the task perfectly the first time you tried it, that was it. You can’t possibly do the task. Came a crunch, I was the only one able to try, and my work came out perfect. After that, I got that task every time.

    Which is to say: How much of a sample did we see Romine get? And when he got more steady playing time, how did he do?

    Not saying we shouldn’t deal Romine, given our apparent strengths at catcher, but I don’t get this ‘oh he wasn’t impressive in spot starts for a short time, so he won’t ever be good.’ Which seems a common evaluation of young players at this site. As if you reach 20, and you’ll never learn another thing about the game the rest of your life.

    After all, there’s a ton of successful players who started their careers with 0-fers and sub-.100 BAs. Why write Romine off based on such small evidence.

    I also think the same applies for Nunez, at least as a hitter. When he’s managed 30-40 games in a row he’s hit pretty well. It’s a rare talent that excels when you drag them out once every few days.

    • LarryM Fl

      I agree with your assessment of Romine even Eduardo to a certain extent. The Yankees just do not have the patience of late for the young players. It must be very disconcerting moving up in the ranks of the Yankee system. You will be given a chance to perform unless the circumstances dictate more of a chance. It is do or die with that chance. I thought Romine was OK and would produce on the offensive side of the ledger if given and opportunity.

      To me Cervelli would garner more interest. If he was traded then Romine would get his limited reps behind the plate and not cause too much damage if the Yankees were concerned.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I don’t see it that way with Romine.

      What I do see is someone getting squeezed out from players above him who aren’t going anywhere (McCann), as well as players below him (Murphy, Sanchez.)

      It’s not that I don’t believe in him. I just think this is often the plight of the former prospect getting up there in years who hasn’t broken through. Look who winds up on the waiver wire daily.

  • Farewell Mo

    Really, who would want him at this point. He hasn’t shown he can hit a lick at the major league level and while he’s probably adequate behind the plate, he’s hardly shown himself to be a plus defender.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Have you seen what major league catching often looks like?

      • Farewell Mo

        .247 wOBA, 48 wRC+ and no evidence that I’ve seen that he’s some superlative pitch framer or defender?

        He makes Chris Stewart look like an All Star at this point.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Yes, but it wouldn’t be just your scouting report they’d be looking that. Not that there’s anything particularly wrong with your scouting report.

        • LitFig

          And this is why we never develop players. We take short samples of struggle (which most young players have) and extrapolate it into ”Heezabum!!”

          Now this is not to say Romine is a star, but we have way too little information to say he’s Stewie 2.0.

          • Farewell Mo

            He needs to improve a great deal before he’s Stewie 2.0.

            • trr


  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    Cafardo: “Who do you think is available?”
    Scout: “With the addition of McCann, I would guess Romine from the Yankees.”
    Cafardo:”Would you say he’s “Very Much” available?”
    Scout: “Sure man, say whatever you want.”

  • trr

    No one is going to blow the Yankees out of the water with an offer for Romine.

  • TWTR

    I think the benefits to keeping Romine probably outweigh the likely benefits from trading him.

    • RetroRob

      Agreed. Send him back to AAA and have him rotate with Murphy. His value can only increase as noted by some of the comments above.

  • Batsman

    If Axisa says “hold on to him” then we need to get rid of him.

  • The Great Gonzo

    Meh… keep him, trade him, whatever. Don’t get rid of him because he’s a bum, but he’s actually a pretty whatever catcher at this point. But he is not far removed from being a decent catching prospect, so there’s some “starry eyed” value there, I suppose.

  • bg90027

    It makes complete sense that the Yankees would be making Romine available. They have a 40 man roster crunch right now with few obvious candidates for a DFA right now other than Wells. At the same time, they are one of only two teams carrying as many as 5 catchers on the 40 man. Most don’t carry more than 3. They should look to trade one of Romine, Murphy or Cervelli. Given the mediocrity in catching these days, those guys have some value and I’d think one of them maybe with another throw-in ought to be able to bring back a proven reliever on a reasonable contract capable of being part of the 7th/8th inning mix. I’d rather see them do a trade like that then give a 3 year contract to someone like Balfour and lose another player on the 40man who might be useful for nothing.

  • Eselquetodolosabe

    Keep him if possible, which I imagine would be difficult, as carrying 3 catchers at the ML level is probably not feasible. He’d possibly be splitting time with Murphy at Scranton. Might not be good for either’s development. I just hate to ‘give-up’ on a homegrown player, especially at catcher….., and I kind of felt he started to turn the corner.

  • Mike

    Austin is a top notch prospect and I’d only trade him for a top of the rotation pitcher or an impact bat.

  • DJ

    Please give Romine up….If somebody offers a bag of practice balls and a few broken bats, let them have him, and offer to drop him off and pick up the equipment. Throw in Cervelli too. JR Murphy is all the backup the Yankees Need. He has excelled at every level.

  • Bill

    Trade Murphy he actually has value and could net a decent player in a trade. Romine doesn’t really have much value right now so you might as well keep him as depth. Romine and Cervelli also both have better splits against LHP which make them good platoon partners/backups to McCann. Murphy’s minor league splits are pretty even.

  • leftylarry

    Let’s see, Highly regarded before some injuries that are finally gone, never given a real chance by Yankees, sounds like the kind of guy you should NOT give up on too soon or he comes back and bites you.

    • RetroRob