May
27

Murphy helping the Yankees now and emerging as a building block for later

By
(Presswire)

(Presswire)

One very valid criticism of the Yankees is that they simply don’t produce enough quality players from the farm system. It has now been seven years since Brett Gardner made his debut, and the second best homegrown position player during that time is Frankie Cervelli at 2.2 fWAR. An injury prone backup catcher. The Yankees do a good job filling out their bullpen and the back-end of the rotation from within, but they haven’t produced even an average position player in a long time. It really hurt last year during all the injuries.

Now, obviously the Yankees are the Yankees, and as long as they are the Yankees they will target big names over younger players, even their own young players. They have shown a tendency to favor certain players over others (the teacher’s pet, basically) and give them extended opportunities — Gardner, Phil Hughes, and Eduardo Nunez jump to mind — but otherwise a young player needs to do what Robinson Cano did and force the team’s hand if he wants to play regularly. That’s what Yangervis Solarte did earlier this year, for example.

So far this year, with an assist to Cervelli’s latest injury, John Ryan Murphy has emerged as a weapon off the bench. He plays sparingly because Brian McCann‘s contract guarantees he will play no matter how big his slump, but in limited time the 23-year-old Murphy has gone 14-for-37 (.378) and recorded at least one hit in eight of his ten starts. Despite walking only once, he is seeing 3.7 pitcher per plate appearances and has swung at pitches out of the zone at a league average-ish rate (31.0%). Murphy has shown some semblance of plate discipline, which is not all that common for young players in part-time roles. They tend to come out hacking when they get a chance to play because they want to prove to everyone they belong.

“In my role right now I just have to understand that I have to be ready to play at any time. So even though I’m not playing for the first eight, nine innings or whatever the game was at that time, I still have to be mentally locked in and ready to go,” said Murphy to Jorge Castillo recently. “I’m just learning everyday from these guys. It’s hard not to. The years on this team and the amount of experience that they have, it’d be dumb for me not to take advantage of this time I have here and learn from these guys.”

Usually we say that if a young player isn’t going to play everyday at the big league level, he should just go to Triple-A and get regular at-bats. That is true in almost all cases, but I think Murphy and young catchers in general are different. The catcher position is so unique because it’s not just hitting and catching the ball, like say an outfielder would. Catchers have to develop a relationship with the pitching staff and pour over scouting reports each series. Every position requires behind the scenes preparation, but catchers have by far the most. It’s a tough gig and I don’t just mean physically.

(Presswire)

(Presswire)

Young catchers have the most difficult transition from the minors to the show for that reason. Look at guys like Yadier Molina and Matt Wieters, for example. They were as highly touted as anyone coming up as prospects, but it took them quite a while to adjust to MLB and fully realize their potential. Wieters still hasn’t done it, really. Sure, everyone once in a while a Buster Posey breaks the mold, but they are the exceptions. The Yankees brought Jorge Posada along slowly for this reason, to ease the transition with the help of a veteran catcher. Murphy and McCann are the modern day Posada and Joe Girardi, in a sense.

Now, the elephant in the room is Cervelli, who is eligible to come off the 60-day DL on June 12th, two weeks from Thursday. Joe Girardi recently told George King that Cervelli’s rehab from a hamstring strain is going well and the expectation is that he will be ready to be activated when eligible. Two weeks and two days is a long time, plus Frankie has a way of getting hurt and staying hurt, so it’s tough to count on him. Whenever he is activated though, will the Yankees keep him and send Murphy back to Triple-A? Probably. Is that in the best interests of the team, both right now and into the future? I find it hard to believe.

Like I said, because the Yankees are the Yankees and are always looking to add that next veteran who may or may not put them over the top, Murphy and the team’s other young catchers are prime trade bait. The Bombers have been smart to hoard young backstops all these years because they are very hard to find and valuable in trades, at least somewhat. Backup catchers are a dime a dozen — Nick Hundley was just traded for a bad lefty specialist and George Kottaras is on waivers every other week, so I don’t think Cervelli would fetch much in a trade at all — but young guys with promise have very real value. A rebuilding club could stick Murphy in their lineup on just about an everyday basis — right now too, not two years down the line — and that is very appealing.

Unlike Austin Romine last year — man did Romine blow a golden opportunity last season, huh? — Murphy has shown the Yankees everything they wanted to see when they called him up following Cervelli’s injury. He’s hit well and I think he’s done well defensively, including his work with the pitchers. I don’t have anything to back that up, the pitching staff might hate him for all I know, but Murphy seems to be doing a good job in the non-hitting parts of the game. He broke out in the minors last year and has continued to progress this year. The Yankees haven’t had much luck developing homegrown position players lately, but Murphy is helping them win games right now and he looks very much like someone who can help the team long-term.

Categories : Bench
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/roadgeek Roadgeek Adam

    “Unlike Austin Romine last year — man did Romine blow a golden opportunity last season, huh?”

    Murphy and Sanchez have passed Romine by far you’d have to believe on the prospect scale.

    I think personally though, I’d like to see Murphy get consistent AB at AAA for now, when he comes back in September (if he does), he’d be a kickass backup catcher.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      “Unlike Austin Romine last year — man did Romine blow a golden opportunity last season, huh?”

      Wasn’t Romine hurt for most of the 1st half of last year and most of 2012? How does that constitute Romine “blow(ing) a golden opportunity?” Bad break happen all the time to players. Whatever the case, imo at least, that’s far from “blow(ing)” it.

      Romine is a solid catcher on both sides of the ball IF healthy. Due to all the missed time and injuries, playing every day for Scranton is a blessing, whether in disguise or otherwise. I suspect he’ll be dealt somewhere down the line, but I also expect him to be a very solid major league catcher for some big league team, as well. Time will tell.

  • TWTR

    Unless they are trading Murphy for a very young position player with significant OBP and SLG ability, I would keep him. We also don’t know if McCann is already in a decline. So ensuring that the catching position is a strength is a very appealing option.

    As far as targeting big names, that’s great unless they are old, in which case they are not really big in any real sense of the word.

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    I think Frankie C has been Wally Pipp’d. He can be traded because JRM has been so good in his role. If it’s an issue of playing time for the youngster there is plenty at the MLB level with McCann struggling to hit .200

  • CS Yankee

    Great article.

    Once Cerv’ comes back, there is a hard choice to be made for sure.

    • I’m One

      Agree. I’d love to see Murphy stay up on the big league club, but since Cervelli has little trade value, I can see the Yankees keeping him up and sending Murphy down, then letting Cervelli walk at the end of the season. I defintely prefer that, unless Murphy provides a nice return via a trade.

      • TWTR

        OTOH, we keep hearing that they are a win-now team, so maybe the choice should be based on which player helps them win now. I think that is Murphy. Extending that philosophy further, despite his contact, if McCann doesn’t starting picking it up soon, Murphy should play more until or unless McCann start hitting consistently.

        • I’m One

          Perhaps the Yankees give him a bit more rest, but I just don’t see the Yankees giving Murphy 3 of 7 games, although even 2 of 7 would be good. McCann still seems very good at working with the pitchers and framing pitches. And perhaps the Yankees are concerned with exposing Murphy, which could decrease his trade value.

          • TWTR

            I would sign for 2 of 7 today!

            As I have said, the my bar for trading Murphy is really, really, really high.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      Disagree. Murphy goes down as he has options & could use the playing time, & Cervelli gets his backup catcher gig back – at least for the time being. You send Murphy down to Scranton & let him & Romine alternate days behind the plate while McCann plays full time w/Cervelli serving as his back up. You evaluate McCann (& Cervelli) over the next couple of months to determine whether McCann’s the guy they want catching for the next 4+ years. If they believe he isn’t that guy, they have to try to deal him over the winter. Should the Yankees determine that McCann no longer fits into their plans, Murphy/Romine could get a shot to start for the 2015 NY Yankees & Cervelli could still very well play a role as a Yankee in 2015 as well, depending on what he does the rest of 2014. If Cervelli is at least solid the rest of the year, I see no reason why the Yankees would let him go as he’d be an inexpensive resign for 2015 & would give Murphy/Romine a solid veteran presence behind either one chosen as starting catcher, unless of course, the Yankees decide to go with both Murphy/Romine in 2015 & could then deal, designate, release, or not sign Cervelli over the winter. Lot’s could happen. These are just some of the possibilities. Either way, think Cervelli gets his job back, at least in the short run, once he’s eligible to come off the D/L.

  • Steve (different one)

    So then what happens to Cervelli?

    This article kindof dodges that question, yet preemptively criticizes the team if they send Murphy down for a little while.

    Does Cervelli just get DFA’ed? Surely he is out of options, right?

    Or do you let him play for a few weeks until trade season and then try to move him? That seems most logical, but the emotional response to sending Murphy down for a few weeks will be different, I’m guessing.

    • I’m One

      do you let him play for a few weeks until trade season and then try to move him?

      It would be great if they can get something of value for Cervelli. Perhaps a usefull BP piece? Not sure it’ll happen, though. I also don’t see him getting DFA’d.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        If Chris Stewart got Kontos…

        • Yan Solo

          Unfortunately, trades never work out the same way when it involves the Yankees but in the opposing direction. Kontos gets you Chris Stewart in one direction, but if you switch which teams has which player would the trade still happen. My gut says no, but then again I’m a homer (not the “D’oh!” kind; although that could be debated too I suppose. Ha!).

          • The Great Gonzo

            IN FAIRNESS:

            The Giants got one really good season of Kontos and since then he has been pedestrian. The Yankees got exactly what they expected from Stewart. And they got a real live breathing human being for him from the Pirates.

            Also, the Yankees also got something of value from a DFA’d Eduardo Nunez.

            These moves are not horrible from Cashman’s part.

            • Yan Solo

              I don’t disagree at all. I have faith that Cashman gets the best he can. I was just making the observation that if the teams (not the players) were reversed in these deals the Yankees might not get the same kind of deal. It just seems that the Yankees always have to give up more than other teams because every other team knows that the market can afford it, even if the roster or farm system can’t. That’s all I was trying to say :)

  • Bavarian Yankee

    imo send Murphy down so he doesn’t become Super 2 eligible after 2015, then trade Cervelli at the deadline or in the offseason and call Murphy back up. Heck, I’d even consider trading McCann in the offseason if Murphy keeps on hitting and keeping Cervelli as Murphy’s back-up.

    • I’m One

      I’d even consider trading McCann in the offseason …

      Hadn’t thought of that. His contract isn’t immovable, although if he continues to struggle this season, not sure what type of return he brings. While the Yankees don’t need to save money, I agree, it’s something to be considered.

      • Yangeddard Solarte

        This is one of those situations where they could have saved $85 million by just going with the internal option. The kids should have played since they have always been strong at C. Could have used the money elsewhere.

        • emac2

          Because we all know Murphy would still be hitting 400 as the starting catcher?

          I totally disagree. The 85 was well spent to take pressure off the kids while making them earn anything they get and not handicapping the pitchers while we search for an effective long term catcher.

          • Adam

            And keep in mind that Texeira has two more years after this one and that at least at the moment, a McCann 1B with time at DH move is probably what they are planning on. If that then resulted in a Gary Sanchez JRM duo holding the battery down, I would be very okay with that.

      • Bavarian Yankee

        I just saw that he has a full no-trade clause, so I don’t know how realistic it is to trade him anyway.

      • Chip Rodriguez

        His contract is immovable. No trade, and either way, you’d be selling low at this point given that the last couple of non-offensive months have probably hurt his value.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Too bad they didn’t just give Russell Martin his two years and then transition to Murphy full time in 2015.

      (FWIW, I’m not just saying that in hindsight. Two years later, I’m still annoyed they let Martin walk for no good reason, and I was wary of the McCann signing. That said, I figured McCann would be quite productive for at least the beginning of the contract. Not the case so far.)

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Martin was willing to come back for one year, so he wouldn’t even have led to us losing out on McCann.

    • Ed

      Murphy was called up September 1st last year. So he’s got about a month of service time already from last year, plus a month and a half this year. The concern isn’t if he’ll be a super two or not – it’s that if they don’t send him down for a while, he’ll have just over a full year of service time after the season. He won’t be a super 2, but he’ll be a free agent after 2019.

      Send him down when Cervelli comes back, then try to trade Cervelli at the deadline. Call Murphy back up then, and he’ll be a free agent after 2020. If Cervelli returns on time and Murphy gets sent down then, they might be able to call him back up in September and avoid Super 2 status, but that would probably be cutting it close.

      Of course, all of this is assuming Murphy sticks in the majors for good next year. If he’s up and down again next year, the service time doesn’t matter much.

    • Yan Solo

      He’s essentially eclipsed all Yankee catchers from last season and still has almost 75% of the season to build on top of that once he finds a rhythm (lets not forget he uprooted his entire life, had to learn and manage a whole new pitching staff, consider the defensive make-up of the team behind that pitcher everyday, then learn and get the best of out pitchers who should not be starting due to a string of injuries, call the game for an ever-changing bullpen, etc.) and produces up to what we all know he’s capable of. But you know what? Screw it!! Start up the bus and throw him under and back over him a few more times just to make sure the job is done. At least you said give the man a whole year before trying to trade him. I’ll give you that.

      • Yan Solo

        This is in reference to McCann. I put his name at the beginning and edited it and realized it didn’t refer to him specifically. But seriously, give the dude some slack. Of all the positions and the pressures, catcher should be an area we give more leeway and room for era. After all, it’s not coincidence that most of the best managers were former catchers. They have a ton on their plate and deserve some margin for error and the ability to close that margin in more than a blink of an eye.

  • stuckey

    Would love nothing more than for this to be real, or more accurately, indicator of something real, but man is 14-for-37 small sample size.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Jeez. I’d DFA Cervelli so fast he wouldn’t know what hit him. I’m completely on board with either “break Murphy in slowly” or “have him lead trade package” at this point. Sending him to AAA is pretty pointless right now.

    Yes, I argued the complete opposite of this in Spring Training. Just call me Jorge Eddardbrenner.

    • The Great Gonzo

      YangJorge SteinEddardLarte!

    • Chip Rodriguez

      So are you now up to 73.5 on the fan confidence poll?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        I’m at 147. Pa’s at a 1.

        • Chip Rodriguez

          Clearly Pa didn’t watch Yangeddardo Solarte deliver the game changing groundout that changed everything for the season.

    • mitch

      I’d hate to just give up an asset for nothing, but I agree it’s probably time to just let him go. All Cervelli has proven over more than half a decade is that he can be a solid backup catcher when healthy. Too bad he’s never healthy. It’s time to move on with Murphy and trade Cervelli for whatever scraps they can get.

    • The Great Gonzo

      So, I guess my problem (and Yankees FO as well, I would assume) is that Frank-O has been nails when not broken or suspended. Something that can’t be said for Eduardo NoonYez.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Yeah, but at some point; you’ve been waiting for it all to come together for way too long.

  • gbyanks

    cant shake the feeling we are gonna do a murphy for gregorious swap. We almost traded gardner to get the guy and now with owings starting, didi is expendable. Im skeptical because gregorious hasn’t hit much and while hes hitting in the minors its still the PCL. Dean anna hit 330 in that league. At the same time if the yankees do one thing well its evaluate MLB level talent. swisher,ibanez,solarte,chaves,colon,garcia,

    • mitch

      Not an unreasonable trade, but I can’t see the Yanks moving Murphy for someone who won’t help them win this year.

      • RetroRob

        It’s no unreasonable if there is a belief Gregorious is an everyday SS. I don’t think he is. Had a nice couple week start to his career last year and has been quite bad since. Considering that Jeter is playing everyday during his final year, and they have Ryan to back him up defensively, I don’t see how that trade would help the Yankees in 2014. Could make them weaker.

        • Cool Lester Smooth

          He’s 24, plays good defense, has a 130 wRC+ in AAA right now and put up a 91 wRC+ last year. That’s a decent starting SS, at the least.

          • RetroRob

            Repeating AAA after being on the MLB roster for the season, hitters’ league, still has plate discipline issues. Even Brendan Ryan hit some like .330 in his short rehab.

            I admit, I have issues with Gregorius so I’m not going to have the most balanced view of him. I’d rather they’d search elsewhere, yet if he showed up on the team next year as a good glove shortstop I’d be fine. I have low expectations.

      • gbyanks

        trade doesnt have to happen by the deadline. i could see it as a offseason move.

  • The Great Gonzo

    So, in a quick scan of team that are:

    1) In need of a backstop for the future
    2) have a catcher worse than Murphy RIGHT NOW
    3) Have something of value the Yankees could use
    4) Would trade with the Yankees (Sorry, but TOR & BOS, the two best fits, are out of the running),

    I came up with the following…

    – Cubs: If they view Castillo as anything like what he’s doing today for the future, then they are a fit. Bonafacio could be a fit in the MIF and as a 5OF, and has been hitting well… Also, all teh pitchings.

    – D-Backs: There is a potential that Miguel Montero comes back to life. I mean, for the money he’s owed he goddam better come back to life… But, if he has in fact turned into a pumpkin, then this is a team with infielders for days. Mike covered this ad nauseum in the Spring. Not much pitching help though…

    – Dodgers: Butera is garbage. Hanley Hanley and more Hanley… (half kidding)

    – San Diego: Grandal is supposed to be the guy, but Murphy might be better. Especially if they want to get the ball rolling on the Headley sweepstakes (who has been surprisingly bad this season, BTW).

    Special shout out to teams who could have a need but don’t have dick to provide in return (Rangers, Twins) and those who are too upside down in their current catchers to trade up (Phillies, D-Backs)…

    All this to say, its pretty meh. I might sit and wait this one out.

    • FIPster Doofus

      The Padres have a great catching prospect behind Grandal in Austin Hedges, so you can probably rule them out.

      • RetroRob

        Right.

        And do the Rangers have dick to provide in return? I thought they still had a deep farm system. Would not mind a deal where Murphy is moved for a young player as part of a solution at second.

        • The Great Gonzo

          You know damn well the Yankees will be looking for a ML Ready player. Like, a Profar type player, not another unproven AAA guy. Hence, they don’t have dick to offer.

          • RetroRob

            I’ve been around too long and remember when they once traded away one of their starting pitchers for an unproven 2B’man named Willie Randolph. I’m hoping for one of these every generation or two. : -)

      • The Great Gonzo

        Yup. Valid. Consider them stricken

  • ropeadope

    He (Murphy) plays sparingly because Brian McCann‘s contract guarantees he will play no matter how big his slump

    Is that actually written into McCann’s contract? Shouldn’t the more productive player be given the lion’s share of available playing time regardless of how much money is written into the individual contracts? Isn’t it more desirable to field a team that can garner the maximum wins? The money will be paid out in any event.

    In this specific case, I’m still optimistic on McCann. But I’ve seen this happen numerous times, where the contract seems to dictate who plays and who rides the bench. Is it a matter of ownership and the front office not wishing to swallow their pride? Continue to play the highly paid underperforming player in favor of the lightly paid overachieving player?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      You’re going to give the guy you just gave 5/90 to every chance to earn it, especially this early on in the contract. He has to be spectacularly bad to lose his job. He’s been bad, but there’s several rock layers below this he’d need to hit.

      • ropeadope
        • The Great Gonzo

          Bench him at Post-PV

          • ropeadope

            Fair enough, just above the core layers.

            • The Great Gonzo

              For 90 M, you got to get to almost the core layers before you give up.

    • emac2

      Winning isn’t everything.

      You have to give the guy the chance to earn it or you just hurt a bunch of feelings and ruin the clubhouse. You have to remember that these guys are a bunch of prima donnas who aren’t used to people saying no to them. If you try to get cute and shift the focus to winning or playing the best player you risk a complete breakdown of the system.

      This might seem like a game about winning but it’s much deeper than that. It’s about people,feelings and the american way. It’s about respecting your elders and building for a better future.

      Quite frankly, I find your petty focus on stats to be a sign of everything wrong with this country. I don’t think we need your kind around here.

      Why do you have to hate?

      Actually, if you know anything about me this is a joke and I totally agree with you.

  • qwerty

    I don’t know why everyone thinks McCann is in a slump. He’s on pace for 10 doubles and 23 home runs this year, and that’s what the yankees paid for. All his other stats were not completely unexpected, he’s been on the decline for years now so his BA and walks doesn’t surprise me.

    • mitch

      I think he’ll be fine. With a few more walks and better luck on balls in play he’ll be pretty close to doing what we expected.

      • ChrisS

        Well, that’s pretty much what baseball is. With a little luck, anyone can be Ty Cobb.

        Know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? It’s 25 hits. 25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points, okay? There’s 6 months in a season, that’s about 25 weeks. That means if you get just one extra flare a week – just one – a gorp… you get a groundball, you get a groundball with eyes… you get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week… and you’re in Yankee Stadium.

    • FIPster Doofus

      You’re not surprised that McCann has been, offensively, one of the worst regulars in baseball this year? I’m pretty sure when the Yankees gave him $85 million, they expected a lot more.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        …it’s qwerty.

      • qwerty

        I’m really not. The BA and walks are a little lower than a I imagined, but overall, McCann is pretty much where I expected him to be. I predicted no more than a .240 BA with 20+ homers, and I’m pretty certain that’s precisely what the yankees thought they were paying for.

  • Deep Thoughts

    Cervelli absolutely got screwed one year because he had an option left and Stewart didn’t. I would be shocked if the Yankees didn’t leverage whatever roster flexibility they’re entitled to by sending Murphy down. “Next True Yankee” B.S. aside, assuming the tiny sample size is actually reflective of talent, the marginal upgrade to the team with Murphy over Cervelli as BUC is negligible. And you have to see what Cervelli still has in the tank / give him a chance to audition for the trade deadline.

    • RetroRob

      I agree.

  • Vern Sneaker

    Absent a major McCann injury or the development of some unlikely non-injury situation with McCann, the no-trade clause blocks Murphy and Cervelli from ever becoming starters with the Yanks unless Sanchez is traded. A trade of at least one or, down the road, perhaps two of these three guys is no doubt coming at some point. Even if Sanchez survives it’s no sure thing he’ll ever be an adequate starting catcher defensively.

    • ChrisS

      Or Teixeira is done and McCann moves to 1B.

      In any event, Teixeira won’t be re-signed and after 2016 they can move McCann to 1B and Murphy can start. He’s only 23.

      • Yan Solo

        Good points. And if the team can get younger, there will be plenty of DH time too. McCann’s deal doesn’t mean lock to catch for its entirety and that’s another area not to be forgotten when talking about the future of young catchers who are “blocked”.

  • tom

    Since Cervelli is absent from 40 man roster, him being off the 60 day DL will require a movement so who will be a goner? Personally, I would DFA Cervelli. Murphy offers better offensive threat so his future with Yankees is by far more valuable.

    • qwerty

      DFA Cervelli? He’s part of the new core four of Gardner, Robertson, and Phelps.

  • emac2

    I would send JR down when Cervelli is ready. Awesome reason mentioned above (super 2) but also to build up his work load and let him apply some of what he learns up here.

    I would trade Cervelli but wouldn’t trade JR. That said, I trade almost anyone for a true number one starter. My preference is to wait a year when we have Sanchez, Murphy, O’Brien and Cervelli all ready to go and then decide.

    I wouldn’t mind McCann, JR and O’Brien all making the roster and rotating at Catcher and DH.

  • PunkPitch

    Without a bunch more Major League experience, Murphy’s trade value is only slightly more than Cervelli. The risk of his value skyrocketing after he is traded is the only sure thing. The right thing to do would be a package deal that brings back premier talent, preferably at SS, 3B, or Starting Pitching. There are plenty of expendable pieces both at the ML and MILB levels right now to assemble a tempting carrot to dangle.

    • I’m One

      But it’s still a bit early to find sellers. I hope the Yankees have started making contact with potential trade partners, but we’re still 2 months away from pieces moving.

  • Les

    We could always move Frankie back to the infield , where he started when the Yankees signed him.

  • Dick M

    I like JR and I argued against the McCann signing. But based on where we are today, I think you gotta shop JR.

    • TWTR

      Wouldn’t that just be compounding a mistake?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Not really. He’s just not beholden to what he felt the mistake was.

        • Dick M

          Murphy’s blocked by McCann and then there’s Sanchez. Right now his stock is up. I think you see if you can turn him into an asset at a position of need.

          It’s all relative, but you see what you can get. Particularly since the only position that is open is BC, and I’d be OK with Romine in that role.

    • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

      We had to get McCann. It hasn’t worked out great so far, but I would have done the same move. They needed a catcher. I would have rather they signed Russell Martin to an extension, since he was way cheaper and the same age, and then spend the money somewhere else, like getting Choo instead of Beltran.

      • Dick M

        They could have gone with Murphy/Cervelli/Romine with Sanchez in the wings. McCann’s a good player but as a catcher he’s approaching the downside. Catcher is a tough position to spend a lot of money on. So why do it when you have 3 young catchers plus Cervelli?

  • Section 8

    Whether or not you think it would be wise to trade JRM, I’m sure we all agree if he’s only valued by other teams as a BUC, then we hold onto him.

    So, what have been the returns in the recent past for comparable players, ie young, solid but non-star, starting catchers?

  • jim

    What do you think a package of Murphy and Betances fetches?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Much more than you’d ever thought at this time last year.

      I dare say it’d start to get you into the conversation for some of the talked-about pieces if sweetened a bit further.

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        TULO! OR CASH$ FAILED!

  • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

    Send Murphy down. I know many want to just dump Cervelli, but in a backup role the downgrade from Murphy to Cervelli is pretty negligible. Give the better roster flexibility. Drop Cervelli for nothing and one of your catcher’s goes down and your screwed. You can also save money by sending him down. Why push Murphy’s arbitration and possibly free agency up for meaningless upgrade in a backup role.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Which one of you eight Nicks suggested Murphy AND Sanchez for Samardjiza on the MLBTR chat? I know it was one of you.

  • jgibs

    Hey Mike any follow up to that cryptic tweet the other day about the Dodgers possibly interested in Cervelli??

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

      There’s nothing to it. A.J. Ellis got hurt and I joked the Yankees should trade them Cervelli.

  • toad

    Catchers have to develop a relationship with the pitching staff and pour over scouting reports each series.

    What is it that they pour over the reports, water, maple syrup, ketchup?

    Come on Mike. You’re supposed to be a writer. Learn English. Learn the difference between “pour” and “pore.”