The results are in and according to the fans, benching Jorge Posada was the right decision. Last Sunday, Posada was told by Girardi that he was going to the ride the bench for an indefinite period of time. Posada currently sports a .237/.314/.387 batting line and that is after a big 3 for 5 day on Saturday, one in which he hit a Grand Slam and drove in six runs. Posada is penciled in for tonight’s game as well so it looks like as long as he’s hitting, he will be the designated hitter. Hopefully, he the benching lit a fire under him and he can get hot for the playoff run.
Make sure you vote on the new poll: Will Jesus Montero be called up before September?
It wasn’t supposed to happen like this. Through the month of July, Posada wasn’t supposed to be hitting.230/.309/.372 with a .299 wOBA. He wasn’t supposed to have only nine homers and 31 runs driven in. He was going to be the full time designated hitter in order to stay healthy and take away the mental and physical strain of catching. This was supposed to be a big year for him. Instead, he has been stripped of his starting spot and his dignity.
I am not writing this post to debate about whether this was the right move because it clearly was. Posada’s age is showing badly and he just isn’t producing the way they need him to. Sure he has a legacy with the Bombers, but the team is also trying to win games and Jorgie just wasn’t getting the job done. The problem is what this move does to the bench.
As we all know the Yanks have six starters on their team which is causing them to carry thirteen pitchers overall and only twelve position players. With Posada going to the bench, Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones will combine to handle the designated hitter duties, Chavez against righties and Jones against lefties. So this means that the Yankees bench on any given day will consist of Jorge, Francisco Cervelli, and Chavez or Jones. That’s not the most flexible group of guys.
Cervelli is a catcher, Chavez covers the infield corners, Jones the outfield corners, and Posada is basically dead weight. He can play some first base and can pinch hit, two things that Chavy can also do. Now we know they won’t cut Jorgie because of his pride and he won’t just retire because of the same reason so now the Yankees have two options. They can send down one of the pitchers in their bullpen (ie. Hector Noesi) and bring up a bench guy like Ramiro Pena or they can just wait it out until September when rosters expand. I would prefer the former.
A lot of people have been saying that since the Bombers have a big lead in the wild card that they can take it easy for a couple of weeks and give some guys some rest. Well, I’d personally would like to win the division and get home field advantage and with a three man bench as weak and inflexible as this one is, they aren’t gonna be able to go on a tear down the stretch. I just can’t wait until this entire Posada episode is over.
Via Mark Feinsand, Jorge Posada has been benched and Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones will handle the designated hitter role for the time being. Posada said he is unhappy with it, but that he brought it on himself. Girardi did say that his roster spot is not in trouble though. It’s a tough move, but the right one to make and hopefully we’ll see Jesus Montero soon.
This past off-season was without a doubt a busy one. The Yankees lost out on their top guy and had one of their core four players retire. To try to amend, General Manager Brian Cashman did his best to piece together a winning team with small moves and so far he has been successful. However, no matter how chaotic this past winter was, it was not as crazy as this upcoming one will be.
Not only will CC Sabathia and Rafael Soriano have the ability to opt out of their respective contracts, but they have to decide if they want to re-sign certain players and pick up certain options. There are three big ones that I can think of off the top of my head (I am thinking about players who have options that the Yanks have control over or just flat out free agents) and those are the ones I will discuss. If you can think of any that I missed, let me know by leaving a comment.
The first and most obvious player has to be Jorge Posada. Another member of the core four and a legacy in pinstripes, the stubborn Posada has made it very clear that he want to play another season. However, the Yankees have different thoughts as Jorgie is hitting .169/.285/.338 for the season with a .280 wOBA and hasn’t hit a home run in more than a month. The very obvious solution to this problem is to let Posada go and let him retire, but it will be hard because they don’t want to completely ruin their relationship with him.
If they do let him go, it would be interesting to see where they go because the only real middle-of the-order hitters that will be free agents are Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. Carlos Beltran could be an option, but with the season he is having and Scott Boras being his agent, he will be asking for a lot of money. Jesus Montero might be the best realistic option.
Now on to Russell Martin, who kind of falls under the same umbrella as Posada. Martin signed for a one year deal and is playing very well and at the age of 28, you know he will get a big contract. If the Yankees were to re-sign him, they wouldn’t be able to sign him to another one year deal and let Montero and Austin Romine develop because Russ will get a multi-year deal.
They could always be the team that does give him that multi-year deal and keep Montero at DH and then use Romine and Gary Sanchez as trade bait. One other thing that will surely factor into the decision is that as of right now, Martin is projected to be a type A free agent by the Elias Sports Bureau which means that if the Yanks let him go and another team signs him, the Bombers will receive two first round draft picks in next year’s amateur draft. It doesn’t help though that there isn’t much of a catching free agent class.
The last guy I will discuss is Nick Swisher. Heading into the 2011 season, I was sure that the Yankees were going to pick up Swisher’s option worth $10.25 million, but now after the start he has gotten off to and the subtle threats that Joe Girardi has made that he could start platooning Swish with Chirs Dickerson, has got me thinking otherwise.
Coming off a career year, Nick has certainly regressed hitting .213/.335/.314 with a .295 wOBA. He has looked more comfortable at the plate recently, but he just isn’t having the same luck as he had last season as shown by his 2011 BABIP of .256 as opposed to in 2010 when it was .335. The power numbers are also surprising since Swisher hit 29 homers in each of the last two seasons as a Yankee, but only has three through the first two months of this season.
Possible replacements for him would be Beltran (again), David DeJesus, Michael Cuddyer, and Josh Willingham. This doesn’t seem like a great set of names so I think I would just pick up the option and hope he bounces back. But then again it is still only June 1 and a lot can happen over the next four months, so maybe Nick will pick it up and it will be an easier choice for Cashman and his comrades.
These are the big three contract situations that the Yankees have control over and this doesn’t even count Sabathia and Soriano’s ability to opt out. There is obviously going to be a lot of craziness this winter, but let’s just hope there isn’t too much and everyone will come into the 2012 season focused on baseball. But for the time being let’s worry about keeping our slim lead in the American League East over the Red Sox.
The results are in and the fans have voted that Jorge Posada will retire after the 2011 season when his current contract expires. If it was unclear before, the whole controversy should have been an indicator of how this off-season is going to unfold. Posada is a very proud and stubborn player who has made it clear that he wants to play. This little situation is little sample of what’s going to happen and it was almost inevitable. Posada will really need to pick it up if he wants to be re-signed which he has since the start of May where he is hitting .261/.393/.348. But if Posada is a free agent after this season, I think he will retire instead of going to a different team.
Make sure you vote on the new poll: What will Carlos Silva’s role on the 2011 Yankees be?
Before tonight’s game, Jorge Posada apologized to the media, Joe Girardi, and the team. He said he was having a bad day and seemed to admit a little bit that he was upset about batting ninth when he said that it wasn’t about him, it was about the team, but just said he was having a bad day and that he just wanted to get past it. He also said he would apologize to Brian Cashman at some point.
Posada also isn’t in the lineup tonight, but more likely because he has awful career numbers against Jon Lester and has been struggling from the right side of the plate this season. Hopefully, we can just get past this and get back on track because it has blown way out of proportion.
Update (1:35pm): According to Joel Sherman, the Yankees have no intention of re-signing Jorge Posada at the end of the season and both Posada and the Front Office knew this from the start of Spring Training. I’m sure the .165 batting average he is currently sporting isn’t helping matters. This makes things pretty awkward because Jorgie wants to play next year and he is as stubborn as a mule. All I know is that I can’t see this turning out well, it’s just turning ugly faster than I thought it would.
Original (12:25pm): So there is a huge mess going on with Jorge Posada. He was a late scratch from last night’s lineup, but it wasn’t released why. There was some speculation that he was going to retire, but Joel Sherman shut that down and Jack Curry reported that Posada threw a temper tantrum when he found out he was batting ninth.
During a mid-game interview, Brian Cashman said that Posada took himself out of the lineup and kind of hinted that he might be retiring, something that actually scared me.
After the game, however, Posada spoke with reporters and said he had back stiffness. Joe Girardi contradicted this in his interview saying Jorge made no reference to his back and that he just needed a mental health day.
So there is now a lot of tension in the clubhouse and I think all this does is accelerate Posada’s exit from the team at the end of the season when his contract runs out. All I know is that he needs to start hitting for things to clear up and with the team not playing well right now, this is certainly not what they needed right now.