Austin Romine, the catcher without an obvious role

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(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

The 2011-12 seasons were not particularly kind to Austin Romine, who was limited to only 108 games due to concussion and back problems. Sure, he made his big league debut in September 2011, but it wasn’t until last April that he returned to the show, and that was only because a foul pitch broke Frankie Cervelli‘s hand. Romine spent last season as Chris Stewart‘s backup and, aside from a few weeks in July, he wasn’t very impressive.

Stewart was traded away this winter but the Yankees replaced him in a big way, committing $85M to free agent Brian McCann. Cervelli’s hand (and elbow) is healed and his 50-game Biogenesis suspension is over, plus J.R. Murphy jumped up the organizational depth chart with a breakout season. Romine was arguably the best catcher in the organization for much of last year, but now, just an offseason later, he is widely considered no better than the fourth best backstop on the team.

“First of all, it’s a business. Second of all, I thought it was awesome,” said Romine to Adam Berry earlier this week when asked about the McCann signing. “I get a chance to study and be under a guy that’s been an All-Star forever. You’d be stupid not to pick his brain and learn something. I see it as a great opportunity to learn more about this game from a guy that’s been around for a long time. I’m actually really excited.”

There’s no doubt Romine can learn a lot from a veteran guy like McCann, but he might not get that opportunity. At least not after Spring Training. Cervelli, who is out of options and can’t go to the minors without passing through waivers, is expected to backup McCann with Romine and Murphy opening the year in Triple-A. Considering that the 25-year-old Romine has hit .258/.321/.355 with 12 homers combined over the last three years, the 22-year-old Murphy figures to get playing time priority with the RailRiders.

(Presswire)
(Presswire)

Now, there is no such thing as too much catching depth, but right now Romine is in a weird spot. It wasn’t all that long ago that he was the best catching prospect in the organization yet now he’s an afterthought behind McCann, Murphy, and Cervelli. All it takes is one injury to move him up the pecking order and catchers sure do get hurt a lot, but there is no obvious place for him at the moment. Romine will essentially be the Triple-A backup this coming year because he hasn’t forced the Yankees to consider him anything more.

“Anyone that told you that they didn’t want to be a starting catcher is lying to you,” he added. “That’s my goal. That’s been my goal since I was a little kid. Everybody wants to be a starting catcher. Right now, the backup job’s open, so that’s what you focus on. You get to be behind a guy that’s done it all and learn some stuff, and maybe they’ll give you a chance … I feel like I’m in the best shape I’ve been in in a while. I’m just looking for some time to show them I can still do it. It’s going to be a fight.”

I’m inclined to think this situation will work itself out. Someone will get hurt somewhere along the line and Romine will assume a more important role, even if that role is nothing more than the starter with Triple-A Scranton. Trading him is always an option but his stock isn’t all that high and I don’t think the return would be great. Having the extra young catcher around would be more beneficial than whatever he could fetch in a trade. Romine’s long-term role with the Yankees may not be clear now, but that doesnt’t mean he isn’t worth keeping around.

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  • CountryClub

    I’d rather see Romine be the backup on the Yanks than Cervelli. But I’m sure it’ll shake out as you described in the article.

    • Darren

      Why? I assume because it’s of his upside (such as it is)? Because when you compare what he’s done in the majors versus Cervelli, Cervelli has exhibited more ability.

      • nycsportzfan

        I agree. Cervelli is like a energizer bunny as well. Hes unique in that his base running is solid for a catcher and he can on occasion swipe a bad. In a real pinch, you can put him at 3rd also. Hes always hit and had many timely hits on the big league level. I think he is clearly the backup catcher this yr and deservingly so. Trade Romine if you have to.

        • nycsportzfan

          bag

    • Dalek Jeter

      I disagree, I mean Romine is probably the better defender, but McCann struggles against lefties so the BUC is probably going to see a lot of time against LHP. Frankie has done very well against LHP in his career (.305/.402/.389 .358wOBA 120wRC+) and is servicable enough defensively where I think he should be the BUC unless The Lettuce Man or Murphy prove they really deserve to be in the big leagues this season.

      • Dalek Jeter

        I should add, that his numbers against LHP is a much smaller sample size than I realized (~200 PA) so…HOORAY SSS!

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          Never defend, always attack. 200 PA is plenty!

      • ALZ

        And the fact that you can keep Romine in the minors. Really no need to push service time when there is pretty much no or very little upgrade.

      • CountryClub

        Once Romine got used to not playing every day, his bat came on in the 2nd half of the year. And since he hits from the right side, he would also fill that void vs lefties.

        • Dalek Jeter

          He did improve greatly, don’t get me wrong, but if I’m calling Cervelli’s 197 PAs against LHP a SSS, then I have to call Romine’s 68 PAs in the second half a microscopic Sample Size. I’m not saying that I’m completely against Romine being the back up, if he wins the job that’s awesome. I’m just saying right now, on February 14th I’d rather the more seasoned and more proven Cervelli.

          • CountryClub

            I understand and I don’t disagree. Back up catcher isn’t going to make or break the team anyway.

    • qwerty

      Don’t worry, it’ll probably happen when Cervelli breaks something else this upcoming season.

  • Dick M

    I think this kid has got potential. Young, aggressive, great attitude. Seems to have more than adequate catching skills and he looks fine at bat to me. To think we retarded his development in favor Chris Stewart is mind-boggling.

    It’s hard to argue with McCann. But it’s strange that we make a priority of signing and developing catchers and then when they are ready, we go out and get a FA catcher on a long term deal. Just further evidence that the development program in the Bronx is rudderless.

    • nyyankfan_7

      Who in the hell was ready in the system to move up to the bigs and be the starting catcher?

      Romine and his .200 avg / 1 hr in 200 career abs?

      Cervelli coming off injury and suspension and less than 200 abs in the past 3 years?

      Murphy and his career 27 abs and less than 60 games played above AA?

      Sanchez and his 0 career abs above AA?

      Oh I know we could have let Chris Stewart start while we waited on these guys to get seasoned enough to start everday…..

      McCann was a priority because he is one of the best at his position and a position they desperately needed a free agent to fill. Yes they draft and develop catching, lots of it – but not one of them is ready to be the big league starter. Cervelli is the closest, would have been a hell of a lot closer is he hadn’t got hurt or juiced last year but that didn’t happen. And lets face it – Francisco Cervelli will never be the starting catcher on any great team, ever.

      • Dick M

        To answer your question, Romine might have been ready but we were too busy giving his PT to Stewie. You don’t give a young player 6 at bats a week and expect him to develop. I luv these guys who maintain that Romine sheet the bed last year when in reality he was not put in a position to succeed.

        Then there’s Murphy. Why couldn’t he be ready this year?

        The point is that part of development is commitment. You have to be willing to put up with some early struggles. These kids know that with the Yankees if you don’t come out of the box hitting .300, the leash is gonna get pulled.

        Of course, the punch line is we end up signing 30-somethings to 7 yr contracts.

        • nyyankfan_7

          Romine might have been ready……. ready for AAA – maybe. Big maybe. If you want to watch guys struggle you apparently are rooting for the wrong team. Playoff teams don’t have time to watch a guy “sheet the bed” and bat .150 – whether it’s in 6 PA’s or 60 a week. And lets not forget that he only threw out 8 of 38 runners, so his “strong” defense was very suspect last year. Remember Jorge Posada and how great he was? Yeah he didn’t get a full season catching until he was almost 30 – he spent 1 year catching 60 games and another 2 catching 100 – 110.

          You are forgetting a major part of the storyline last year. Stewie was not there to start, Cervelli was – and he got hurt and then caught with a needle in his butt. And as bad as Chris Stewart was, Romine was worse. They were contending for a playoff spot until September, which is why the better of the two of them played.

          And why can’t Murphy be ready for this year? I don’t know, but the .150 average he had in September last year could be a big glowing neon sign that says he could use a little more than 59 games in AAA before joining the big leagues.

          And then there is the punch line. The one where they signed the best FA catcher available to a 5 year deal, not 7. To even act like any of the catchers in the farm are ready to start is a joke and the biggest prospect loving you can possibly have. Look at Jesus Montero – remember how “ready” he was for the big leagues? He was so ready his AAA numbers dropped because he was “bored”? Yeah he’s shown how ready he was.

          • Dick M

            Like many a moron you split hairs over one word, in this case “ready” and missed the point which was that we’ve got young catchers who actually look pretty good. But we don’t have the patience to see how good they actually are.

            At some point we have to recognize that player development is the new paradigm.

            And yeah, we would have won more games last year if we played Romine over Stewie. If anyone sheet the bed it was Stewie. “Playoff teams don’t have time to watch a guy “sheet the bed” and bat .150″? – sounds an awful lot like Stewie last year. And if you thought we were goin to the playoffs last yr with that collection of retreads you are dumber than you post.

            • Mr. Roth

              “we’ve got young catchers who actually look pretty good”

              We also have one of the top 5 best catchers in the game with McCann. I don’t know any better way to get young players ready than giving them time to develop in AAA or as a backup. Thats what signing McCann did.

  • dkidd

    i disagree with the premise of this article

    austin romine has a clear role as betty lizard’s new catcher crush

    • The Great Gonzo

      IETC.

  • Dalek Jeter

    I feel bad for The Salad…remember back when the Yankees were going to have 2 ML caliber catchers? One who was going to be the next Posada without the switch hitting, then the other who was going to be his back up who was good enough with the bat and so good defensively that he’d be a starter on any other teams. Oh how those dreams of Montero Salads still haunt me.

    • Brett is Bubbas Son

      We still have that in the Dirty Murphy Sanchez Sandwich…

  • Macho Man “Randy Levine”

    I know this sounds dumb for a few reasons, but shouldn’t they try to DH him a few days when he’s not catching, just so he gets at bats? I know that would force Scranton to carry a third catcher if they were to do it consistently, but it seems like it would help more than him just sitting on the bench.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I don’t think that’s the worst idea in the world, especially because Murphy’s bat did look pretty polished in limited time last year and he seems to work on defense a little bit more. Maybe something like a 65/35 split behind the plate with Murphy getting the 65% of starts, and have Romine DH like…half the games that Murphy catches that way he still gets close to 70% of the ABs he would if he was the straight up starter.

      • Dalek Jeter

        and he seems to NEED TO work on defense a little bit more.***

    • mitch

      I think it’s pretty likely him and especially Murphy will spend a lot of time at DH when they’re not catching. There will be enough ABs to go around in AAA.

    • Jonathan

      I think that’s a very good idea. I’m pretty sure Gary Sanchez and Murphy did that a couple of years ago.

    • ALZ

      That’s fair. It’s not like AAA really matters either.

  • Robert

    All Romine has to do is have a great spring at the plate and win a job!!!

    • Dalek Jeter

      That is as likely as Joba winning the Starting Pitcher job a few years ago or Romine winning the starting job last season. That is to say, I’m pretty sure everybody realizes the deck is stacked heavily in Cervelli’s favor. Not unfairly, either. On top of not having any minor league options like Romine has, Cervelli has shown that he can actually hit a little at the ML level. And his defense has improved (IMO) enough for him to be a decent back up.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      It just might not be a job catching for the New York Yankees.

      • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

        Wendy’s by me is hiring.

  • TWTR

    I would like to see Murphy win the BUC job.

    • Dalek Jeter

      I’d rather him play every day in AAA, personally, but if he wins the job in ST, that’d be great.

    • Havok9120

      Meh. I want to know what we’ve got in him and, as with the Lettuce, having him backup at the MLB level before he’s gotten a ton of time at AAA won’t do that. Let’s get him some more regular reps and PAs so his D can continue to develop and we can better evaluate the bat.

      • TWTR

        McCann should play about 130-145 games, some of which will be at DH or possibly 1B. That may leave 120 AB for a BUC. Add in some time at 3B, DH, and/or 1B, and Murply would have good opportunity to make a smooth transition to the major leagues, while possibly giving the Yankees their best chance to win when he is on the field.

        • Havok9120

          You’re losing the depth though. Cervelli is gone in that scenario. Setting aside whatever potential may be locked within him(he was good when healthy last season and he’s always hit lefties), he’s still a nice BUC and a guy that won’t be there if you jump JR Murphy and his 257 AAA PAs over him on the depth chart. I just don’t think the performance bump you get from him (if you get one at all, it’s not like he looked ready to handle MLB pitching last September) is worth losing the body when the body in question is no slouch himself in the same role.

          If we wind up needing new full time catcher, my opinion may change.

          • nyyankfan_7

            JR Murphy has played less than 60 career games at AAA. He is far from ready to be on any major league roster.

          • TWTR

            I did say “win” the job. To do that, Murphy has to perform well in ST, and the others have to perform significantly less well, since a push or anything close probably ensures his return to AAA.

            I’m not that high on Cervelli at this point. Without drawing a direct comparison, his strong April didn’t last as long as the late, great (in baseball terms) Vernon Wells.

            The nice thing about competition is that he now has the chance to start reproving his value.

            (Same with Romine, stuckey!)

        • ALZ

          So he can just start at 3B and 1B?

          Murphy does not have a great bat, and never has. The reason he is valuable is defense. He should never start anywhere but at catcher.

          • TWTR

            Start as in everyday starter this season? What I said was: “Add in some time at 3B, DH, and/or 1B.” So I’m not sure what your question is referencing.

            Every player has to be viewed in terms of the competition. Looking at the present Yankee roster, where do you see better players for these backup roles?

            • Havok9120

              I’m just not sure breaking him back into 3B/1B at the MLB level is the way to go about it, even if that’s something the team wants to look into with him (I’m not sure it is).

              As for DH…there’s quite a few guys who will be getting PAs there. I don’t think you can count on the young BUC who has a good but never great bat being one of them.

              • TWTR

                Your preferred outcome is probably what will happen, but apart from McCann, every player around the diamond is a huge question mark, which is amazing when you think about it.

                That, along with an admitted preference for seeing homegrown players with upside be integrated on to the roster as often as possible, is why I am very open to seeing Murply win a job, from Day 1.

    • Cheval Anonyme

      I would like to see JR Murphy traded for a young major-league ready decent-quality infielder. The Yankees have too many catchers and not enough infielders. JR is squeezed from the top and the bottom. He is a depreciating asset, and a wise organization would leverage that asset quickly.

  • stuckey

    Lest we forget (and apparently we do).

    Romine was MORE than serviceable in July and August before ending the year on a sour note.

    The point is, for a borderline prospect to begin with, you simply throw out the first 135 ML ABs, particularly as they are characterized as being very Jekyll and Hyde. But the upside showed its face. I’ll take .750 OPS (post-All Star) from my BUC in 2014 and beyond.

    You guys?

    This seems to be another case of a Yankees prospect not coming out of the ML womb a star so we start wringing our hands over his upside.

    Romine will probably have to demonstratively outplay Murphy and Cervelli break camp with the team. Otherwise he’ll go to AAA, play regularly and we’ll see from there.

    But his 2013 did very little to significantly change my expectations for him. History teaches us 135 ABs isn’t anything to panic over.

    • TWTR

      Not at all. It’s merely a case of Murphy having more upside and Romine having been the “victim” of serial injures. That has enabled Murphy to move past him.

      I realize you appear to like to play the role of the blog scold, but sometimes there are facts that argue more in favor of one player’s upside rather than a given player’s downside.

      • stuckey

        I’m responding to what Mike’s history teaches me is his underlying premise – “aside from a few weeks in July, he wasn’t very impressive.”

        Not making that up, it’s the concluding thought of this intro.

        Romine’s role will be determined by how well he plays. If Murphy truly seperates himself, that may be as trade bait.

        Again, quoting: “Trading him is always an option but his stock isn’t all that high and I don’t think the return would be great.”

        At this moment, no, but again, 2014 will have a lot to say about that.

        The premise of this post was he wasn’t very good in 2013, so therefore, he’s not that useful.

        It’s right there in plain english.

        • Jonathan

          The premise of this post was he wasn’t very good in 2013, so therefor his stock is low and he should be kept and developed rather than traded for less than he’s worth.

          • stuckey

            We needed a post to remind us he had an inauspicious first 135 ML ABs?

            Would have been more succinct to say “He was a rookie and had first cup of coffee rookies have. Nothing much has changed about Austin Romine since last year. The end.”

            • LK

              ‘Would have been more succinct to say “He was a rookie and had first cup of coffee rookies have. Nothing much has changed about Austin Romine since last year. The end.”’

              Yeah, it’s pretty hard to keep a blog going with posts like that though.

              • RetroRob

                +1

        • Farewell Mo

          Is this Ted under a different handle? The tone of these posts especially in the last thread seem eerily familiar.

          • Havok9120

            It’s been discussed elsewhere. I still think the writing style and organization of the posts is just different enough that it isn’t him.

            Still some similarities though.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              I think Stuckey honestly hopes for, and assumes, a kinder, smarter humanity, and that we keep on just letting him down.

              I know the feeling.

              Honestly, the common thread here seems to be “smart fan, but can’t let an argument go.”

              • stuckey

                In a forum dominated by a fixation over Stephen Drew, *I* can’t let an argument go!?!?

                Dude..?

                But you’re mostly right about that first thing.

                There’d be a smiley face somewhere above if I believed in them.

        • Dalek Jeter

          Let me preface this with stating that I do not hate Romine nor do I think that he a complete bust as a prospect. With that said, Romine’s 2013 did not happen in a vacuum. He was injured for much of 2011 and 2012, and even before then he never played more than 120 games in the minors. Further more, 2010 (the last time he had more than 400 PA) he hit .268/.324/.402, good for a 94 wRC+ in AA. Meanwhile Murphy has improved by leaps and bounds and Cervelli has proven that he can be at least a useful back up in the MLB when healthy.

        • Cheval Anonyme

          Regarding JR’s stock value– true, but there must be young infielders in other organizations who are in essentially the same position. The Yankees need to rebalance their assets. They have an overabundance of catchers and a shortage of infielders. There must be a JR-equivalent somewhere that plays 2B, 3B or SS.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Agreed on the first paragraph.

        Also, wasn’t I supposed to be the blog scold? Baqdafukup, Ted 3.0.

        • Farewell Mo

          Technically I think it’s blog police, not scold though that does have a nice ring to it.

          Who is Ted 2.0 if he’s Ted 3.0?

          • Dalek Jeter

            …Apparently the full name is banned, so lets try that again. OhioYanks. I’m pretty sure he was actually Teddy boy.

            • Farewell Mo

              Luckily, I must have missed OhioYanks handy work around here though I often wonder what mental institution is graced by the original Ted’s presence these days?

              • Havok9120

                I liked him in a lot of ways, but yeah. He kinda lost it by the end there. Hopefully a nervous breakdown was not involved in his demise.

            • Jorge Steinbrenner

              Correct.

              Which brings me to today’s RAB riddle: If Ted 3.0 is the blog scold, and I’m the blog police, what’s Farewell Mo?

              Also, what IS Macho Man “Randy Levine?”

              • Farewell Mo

                The voice of reason.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  We’re putting that up for a vote. :)

                  • Farewell Mo

                    LOL!!

                • Havok9120

                  Watch yourself. The last guy who used that handle tended to be something of a dick. :P

                  • Farewell Mo

                    I’m being facetious though I don’t recall anyone else saying that around these parts.

                    • Dalek Jeter

                      No, he didn’t call himself “The Voice of Reason” in comments. His actual handle was “The Voice of Reason,” and he was very eddard like in his posts.

                    • Havok9120

                      There was a commenter around for quite a while (though intermittently) who used The Voice of Reason as his screen name.

                      And don’t worry, I know we’re all just joking around here. That’s the beauty of having regulars; we can all twig each other without starting a brawl every other thread.

              • The Great Gonzo

                I thought he was Robinson Fish Fingers in his Moms Basement!??

            • stuckey

              I’ll say it outright, I’m not nor have ever been a ‘Ted’ in real or online life. Been posting here for a few years now, just not a regular.

              • I’m One

                And for those that are truely interested in where Ted 1.0 is these days, he’s posting over on IIATMS.

                • Jorge Steinbrenner

                  What’s that acronym?

                  • Farewell Mo

                    It’s all about the money and the Yankee analysts

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      I liked Yankee Analysts for a while. I just stopped visiting at some point.

                      None of those blogs used to get a lot of comment action. Kind of hard to keep up that shtick without a constant foil.

                    • Farewell Mo

                      I used to visit Lohud sometimes before Peter Abraham turned to the dark side but RAB is really the only blog I visit regularly for baseball.

                    • Havok9120

                      LoHud is markedly better now that Jennings runs it. I avoid the comment section like the plague, but the actual content is quality and generally stuff that only a beat writer could get. It just scratches a different itch than RAB can.

                    • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

                      Totally agree Havok. Lohud has come a long way for actual news, the comment section is still a complete shit show, and it serves a very different purpose that does RAB.

                    • Farewell Mo

                      I used to like Jennings when he did either the AA or AAA blog a few years back. I’m gonna check him out again after Havok and Kill Me vouched for him.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      I think Chad is doing the best Yankee writing out there right now. I highly recommend him as well.

                • Farewell Mo

                  Thanks for the heads up. Now I have to figure out how I can block that site from Google Chrome.

          • Havok9120

            OhioYanks was almost definitely Ted.

            • RetroRob

              Almost definitely? : -)

              It was him.

          • I’m One

            OhioYank, I think, was Ted 2.0

    • Chip Rodriguez

      Yup. He was overmatched by MLB pitching at first, then adjusted and had a very good but not great stretch in summer. I wouldn’t write him off offensively.

      Either way, Cervelli and Romine both seem to be made of glass. I’m sure there’ll be enough injuries to ensure each gets some playing time.

    • Havok9120

      It’s not panic, it’s just that between the injuries, Murphy’s progress, and Cervelli’s lack of options Romine is without a clear role as anything more than AAA’s BUC. Mike quite clearly said he was worth keeping and didn’t treat his potential all that harshly. It’s just that he’s been passed up by Murphy and Cervelli is a better fit for the MLB club.

  • Dalek Jeter

    Mike, it’s almost 2 on the day of Pitchers and Catchers…where’s the report that we can extrapolate into “We’re going to win 120 games, and sweep through the playoffs to win the World Series in 4 games,” or “Cashman failed, this team will win 40 games if they’re lucky!”

    • The Great Gonzo

      iggest question is, where is the “He showed up to camp in the best shape of his life!’ guy? I mean, CC is the obvious choice here, but still…

  • blake

    I’m just glad they have a real catcher on the roster this year….

  • Farewell Mo

    I wouldn’t have a problem with either Cervelli or Romine as BUC.

    I think Romine may have more upside so I wouldn’t mind to see him get more regular PT in AAA along with Murphy whereas IMO, Cervelli’s ceiling is likely a career backup, but either way the difference to the team in terms of wins and loses is likely insignificant.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Yeah. In the end, I could care less.

      I’m more attached to Romine, as a player, so I’d lean him just for that reason, but I don’t think this decision would have a major impact on the team either way.

      • Farewell Mo

        Yeah, something will have gone very very wrong if the season hinges on Cervelli vs Romine.

      • ALZ

        I don’t think there is enough gap between their values that it would be worth cutting the catching depth since Cervelli has no options.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          And that’s certainly a valid reason to go Frankie.

        • Havok9120

          Exactly where I am as well.

        • Dalek Jeter

          Yup. If there is going to be no difference between two players value (I’d argue that Cervelli could actually be slightly more valuable, but that’s not the point) and one is without options while the other has options, you put the one with options in the minors and the one without in the majors.

        • The Great Gonzo

          You’re obviously discounting the lack of #fistpumps this club would be bringing North without Joba AND Cervelli.

      • I’m One

        In the end, I could care less

        Grammar Police! Grammar Police!

        You mean you couldn’t care less. If you could care less, well, I don’t need to go there now.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Guilty as charged.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    There is a shocking lack of Stephen Drew in this thread.

    • I’m One

      Not any more.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Just over the over/under I had =P

    • Farewell Mo

      Secretly, I bet you want the Yankees to sign him but you’re not ready to admit it publicly.

      • Havok9120

        He, and most everyone else in the usual Pollyanna clique, has already admitted that he’d improve the team and that it’d be good to have him on the right contract. That is not the fight. He makes sense.

        I just don’t want to see the team bend over backwards for him with the opt-out/bidding against yourself in order to sign him, thing.

        • stuckey

          Ding!

          Right price.

          Yankees price.

          Or bust.

          • The Great Gonzo

            Oh shut up, Ted.

            Sorry, couldn’t resist.

        • I’m a looser and a trader baby so why don’t you kill me?

          You have to wonder, with P’s and C’s reporting, at what point his contract demands fall materially? And, Pollyanna or not, at what point do we say why the F not? 2/18? Is he regretting not taking the QO?

          • The Great Gonzo

            I am sick of talking Drew, HOWEVER I will say this:

            He, along with the other 4 remaining QO guys are starting to sweat (ESPECIALLY the pitchers, who should be reporting today). Drew and Morales should have accepted the QOs. I hope a free agent accepts one soon, because the system IS NOT working.

            • Mr. Roth

              I think the system is working fine, I just think there are some players who don’t understand how to use the system yet. Drew had no business turning down the qualifying offer and now there’s a good chance it’s really going to impact his value.

        • Farewell Mo

          I think even most of the pro Drew clique isn’t suggesting sign him at any cost. I’d go max 3/$30-33 with the opt out.

          I actually think the opt out works in the Yankees favor with the only downside being if he sustains some type of severe injury. It buys them a year, there should (could) be other options available next off season and they can potentially avoid paying him for any declining years if he walks after 1.
          Sort of like the Soriano deal that worked out pretty well IMO.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          I’m fine with signing him. I just think there’s a new shiny object every offseason that gets taken to a silly extreme, and that he’s this year’s model. That’s all.

          In retrospect, we should have been all over Dom Brown.

      • Dalek Jeter
  • TWTR

    COLD: NUMBERS NEVER LIE: Robinson Cano’s No. 24 will be worn by non-roster invitee Scott Sizemore.

    • The Great Gonzo

      #TeamSizemore

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        +24

  • vicki

    send romine out with a-rod’s barnstormers. that’s a thing, right?

  • Mr. Roth

    Romine’s cup is sticking out in a funny looking way in his picture.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Ladies, that looks like it’s gonna hurt.

      • Mr. Roth

        Is that your coc…cyx, or are you just happy to see me?

  • RetroRob

    Romine used to make the top 100 prospect lists, then he had the injuries and missed time. Last year was his chance to get back on track, catch and hit regularly, but he had the “misfortune” of being promoted to the Majors out of necessity and then sat on the bench. Unfortunately, that means he hasn’t swung the bat all that much the last two seasons.

    He’s a great buy-low candidate for a club trying to find a regular backstop. The skills are probably still there, but he needs to play regularly to show them off again. The Yankees know that too, so no reason to trade him away…yet. Let him catch 1/3 the games behind Murphy and DH the other games. He’ll be worth more trade wise. And catchers being what they are (injury prone), he may end up back in the Bronx again in 2014.