Jennings: Several teams scouting Francisco Cervelli


Via Chad Jennings: Several clubs are specifically scouting Frankie Cervelli this spring as they look for catching help. We’ve heard that the Brewers and White Sox are scouting the team’s spare backstops, and the Diamondbacks are said to be looking for an MLB ready catcher as well.

Cervelli, 28, is out of options and can not go to the minors without first passing through waivers. He’s slated to start the season as Brian McCann‘s backup. Jennings hears that Cervelli’s value isn’t all that high, and that a trade would likely involve another team’s out of options player. Spare part for spare part, basically. Here are the Brewers, White Sox, and D’Backs out of options guys, if you’re interested. None of the players who figure to actually be available are all that appealing.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. Wheels says:

    Cervelli gets no respect.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      He always has from me. I’ve taken my lumps for standing up for this guy on message boards, trust that.

    • Yankee$ (Formerly Pseudoyanks) says:

      I wouldn’t trade him for a spare part. Frankly, I still believe he can be a starting (or at least 50/50 platoon) catcher in the big leagues. If nothing else, just because of the position he plays, I wouldn’t trade him for a spare part.

      • emac2 says:

        I agree.

        I would add that trading him leaves us a bit weak as neither Jr or Austin are ready to hit in the majors.

        The idea that a potential starting catcher that can hit and play defense in the majors at 28 isn’t worth more than an end of the bench player is misinformed.

        I think packaging him with Nunez and Phelps gets us into a Stanton conversation.

        Just kidding on the last one but that is actually an interesting package and As 3 young, cheap and ready for the majors players should get us a single player that is a potential starter.

      • qwerty says:

        You’re assuming he can even stay healthy long enough to do that. He’s missed more games in two straight seasons than Jorge did in his entire mlb career.

        • Mandy Stankiwicz says:

          Agreed, but his wrist (collision) hand (foul ball) aren’t about his body breaking down, though the hand was poor form. I think he’s a pretty good backup candidate for any club, with the exception of the bioGen scandal/suspension which has to surely hurt his trade value

  2. Dan says:

    I think they should hold onto him and move one of the more valuable guys. I don’t get why people think Cervelli has legit starting caliber IF value.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Because hes done nothing but excel on the big league level. Even parts of his game that weren’t looking as ML level when he first came up, have since progressed. Have you noticed the bee-bee’s hes been throwing down to 2nd the last yr/yr and a half? His speed as a catcher is as good as any catcher in the ML’s, and hes come up with big hits time and time again, and hes a rare C that in a pinch can go down to 3rd base and play. Add in hes probably one of the highest energy guys in baseball, and you can see why teams want to see what he can do over course of a full season as a starter.

      • Havok9120 says:

        His 2009-2011 stats are decent to bad on both sides of the ball. His CS% was pretty terrible 2010-11, and there weren’t a ton of attempts in 2009. I do think he looked way better during last ST and April, especially defensively, but that’s hardly enough of a sample to say anything for certain.

        I like him a lot, and am glad that he looks to be getting another chance, but your “hes done nothing but excel” is total nonsense.

        • nycsportzfan says:

          So what, not everyone comes into the ML’s hitting 290 and putting up big numbers. Hes been on a team with Posada in front of him, and hes had some injuries and suspension. He has always shown signs of improving but for whatever reason(mostly po and russ martin), he hasn’t been able to consistently play. Teams probably think hes taken his lumps and improved enough , that they want to see where it can take him over full course of season’s AB’s.

          • nycsportzfan says:

            Sorry bout the doub post.

          • Havok9120 says:

            I like him. A lot. You are the one who set the false bar at “he’s excelled since he’s been up.” He has not excelled. He was given a chance to win the job for Starting Catcher of the Future. He was, in fact, given multiple chances. He failed each time due to a combination of injury and ineffectiveness. Could it be because he just hasn’t been given enough development time? Sure. Some guys blossom late.

            The far more likely reason is just that he isn’t that good. Me thinking he is better than he has shown does not make me blind to that fact.

        • nycsportzfan says:

          So what, not everyone comes into the ML’s hitting 290 and putting up big numbers. Hes been on a team with Posada in front of him, and hes had some injuries and suspension. He has always shown signs of improving but for whatever reason(mostly po and russ martin), he hasn’t been able to consistently play. Teams probably think hes taken his lumps and improved enough , that they want to see where it can take him over full course of season’s AB’s.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        Excel? That’s the biggest stretch I’ve heard since…..

        • nycsportzfan says:

          Well, I thought most would consider a guy who was thought of as nothing but minor league fodder , becoming a 270BA hitter, with ever improving defense and full of energy on a daily basis, excelling. Hes also is a very timely hitter.

        • nycsportzfan says:

          I’ll also add he looks great this spring as well. Why would teams not think he is ready for a chance to start? At least some of em?

          • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

            He could start for the Newark Bears.

          • Havok9120 says:

            He was just suspended for PEDs and has a long and varied history of injury, including the kind of concussion problems that usually end careers.

            Good enough?

            • nycsportzfan says:

              It depends. I said “some teams”. You got teams starting guys like Ryan Hanigan, Tyler Flowers, Chris Ianetta, Kurt Suzuki, Derek Norris, Geo Soto, and Dioner Navarro.

              I’d take Frankie Cervelli over any one of those guys. Good enough? For me, it is.

      • Dan says:

        He really excelled when he was demoted to AAA for all of 2012, and was hurt/suspended for 90% of 2013.

      • Cuso says:

        Echo everything Havok stated.

        You’re way too high on him. His “energy” that you pontificate about does not translate into value. In fact, you overvalue it. It’s nice to see him throw “seeds” during ST, but that’s pretty irrelevant when compared to relevant statistics, say ….I don’t know, CS % in MLB games perhaps?

        Trying to value his “ability to play 3B” is akin to admiring Posada for his ability to play 2B – you know because they both happen about as frequently.

        We get it. You’re Polyanna on Cervelli. So you’re probably the least objective person on his ACTUAL value to other teams.

  3. Dustin says:

    I’d take Belisario, and Juan Francisco would be useful if Roberts or Tex don’t make it through spring training. If a trade isn’t commenced before camp breaks, maybe the team will showcase Cervelli more than planned in April, having him work with a specific pitcher and putting him in the lineup against every lefty.

  4. Dave Gross says:

    I always have liked Cervlli’s enthusiasm. He definitely might not be great out their every day but he is exciting.

  5. Frank says:

    Cervelli isn’t a spare part, not to me at least. He is a solid backup, who is s great framer and can throw a little. He can also put together good at bats and has decent speed.

    Not to mention he had hit lefties pretty well in his career making him a perfect backup for McCann.

    • I'm One says:

      I’d agree that, for the Yankees at least, he’s worth more than the “spare parts” being mentioned. He does fit quite well into a platoon with McCann.

      However, if some team wants him as part of a package or provides something the Yankees need, then by all means, send him away. With Romine and Murphy waiting in the wings, he is expendable for the right return piece.

    • lightSABR says:

      I agree. I think he’s worth more to us than he would be in a trade. I’d rather see them move Murphy for an infielder and let Romine start at AAA, see if he can reclaim some of his prospect shine.

    • nycsportzfan says:

      Well said. I mentioned alittle while back he reminded me a bit of Jason Kendall. Reminds, not exactly like. His ability to run for a catcher and energy, and ability to hit some, is why..

  6. RetroRob says:

    A catcher spare part is most likely more valuable than the spare part they’ll acquire. All up for moving one of the catchers, but they might as well look for a situation where they can maximize value, such as packaging a John Ryan Murphy (hey, I wonder if he’s open to being called J.R. Murphy?) with other prospects to bring back something that can truly help the team.

  7. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    It’d be helpful if some possible names were thrown back in exchange. I’d totally be game for dealing him if the part coming back were of better use.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Frankly, we’re better off seeing who else is being squeezed out of a role come final roster time before, perhaps, pulling the trigger.

    • RetroRob says:

      Yes, exactly. I don’t view Cervelli as a spare part. He is the back-up catcher, and I don’t view the back-up catcher necessarily as a spare part, unless your team is lucky enough to have a young Johnny Bench or Ivan Rodriguez catching 140+ games. It’s a necessary role in a position where the starting catcher may not catch more than 120 games. A quarter of the games may be caught by Cervelli, which means any spare part coming back needs to provide not just equal or more value.

      The other advantage Cervelli offers this year is it will allow John Ryan to get a full year down at AAA, and it will allow Austin Romine more playing and hitting time in AAA between catching 1/3 of the games and DHing others to help his development and rebuild some of his value. I don’t think Romine in 2014 would help the Yankees on the MLB level as Cervelli would.

      So, yes, I’m open to trading any of the Yankees younger catchers — Cervelli, Romine, Murphy and even Sanchez — but would need to see what is offered back, and in the case of Cervelli, get an idea what it meant by spare part.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

        I’m fine with giving Romine the BUC job and, if someone were really to be needed, hitting the scrap heap if we want Murphy getting full time play. I’m also just fine letting Murphy BUC if that’s the case.

  8. Eddardo Nuney says:

    Cervy was well on his way to having a fine year last season. He’s a winner, he brings energy and he’s a great clubhouse guy. I give him a pass on one steriod use because A-Rod infected the kids in that locker room. They need to keep him as backup, otherwise we’re one Brian McCann injury away from having Romine/Stewart again.

  9. Mike HC says:

    All these young catchers are definitely tradeable for the right deal, but I wouldn’t just give up Cervelli for someone who might not be as good as Sizemore, Anna, Nunez, Ryan etc …

  10. I would trade Cervelli for whoever loses the 1B job for the Brewers. Obviously Overbay/Reynolds got exposed from being everyday players last year but I think either could be a good backup and allow Kelly Johnson to focus on 2B/3B.

    • I'm One says:

      I agree in theory that getting a BU 1B would be a good idea, however right now we’re looking at a bench along the lines of:


      Who gets squeezed out to allow for the addition of Overbay/Reynolds? With the potential injury risks/time off needed between Roberts & Jeter, I don’t see room for a dedicated BU 1B for Teix. I hope Soriano can hack it in small doses.

    • CS Yankee says:

      So you would trade a useful piece for one of the two terrible players from 2012 that they didn’t make an offer for?

      Cerv should be real good catching 50-60 games this year while either Murp’/lettuce camp out in AAA (or trade one) as a viable backups. Unless one of the three were part of getting an Owings-type return they need to stand pat as catchers are hurt almost as often as pitchers.

      • RetroRob says:

        That’s my thinking, although you’ve lost a year. 2013. : -)

        I think the Yanks lucked out a little with Overbay and got the best he had left to offer, and that wasn’t all that great. I’d rather they’d give PAs to Russ Canzler if Tex misses some time.

  11. Fin says:

    I would think that Cirvelli has similar value to what the Yankees paid for Stewart. Both guys are solid backup catchers, that shouldn’t be counted on to be your everyday guy. Cirvelli is probably a tad better than Stewie but he comes with injury concerns and might be one more concussion from having his career ended.

  12. BigLoving says:

    What will it take to get Weeks?

  13. Eselquetodolosabe says:

    No rush, and I think Cashman is smart enough to understand that. Catcher is a premium position, and Cervelli can do better than just fake it – so far. Sell now, selling low. Trade wise, If it’s “worth-it”, and possibly add to the package to make it worth it, sure, why not ? But other than that, might as well sit tight and hope for bonafide, sought after surplus. As they say, that’s a good problem to have.

  14. MartinRanger says:

    I know he fell on his face last year, but given the infield situation I might take a flier on Connor Gillaspie if we got a solid reliever type prospect with him. He’s hit a bit in the minors, and he can play third, and I imagine he could learn first. I anticipate Johnson becoming the everyday second baseman by May.

  15. pc says:

    nothing appealing then keep him, having a surplus of catching is always a good thing.

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