Tag:Jorge Posada
Posted on: January 30, 2011 5:01 pm
 

Posada ready to DH, wants to play beyond 2011

PosadaJorge Posada isn't exactly pleased about the transfer to DH, but is spouting all the right lines.

"It is what it is," he tells the New York Daily News. "If that's going to help out the team and that's what they want, I'm OK with it."

Posada will enter his first season without "catcher" on his resume, although he will function as the emergency catcher and is hoping a situation arises where he can get out behind the plate. He continues to train as catcher and will stay prepared all year long.

"I'll DH and then they're going to want me to catch one of those days. I'm keeping an open mind. I would love to catch. I'm training like I always do, and if I have to catch, I'll catch."

Posada is finishing up a four-year, $52 million contract and is hoping the transition to DH will cause him to play like he did in 2007 (.338/.426/.543), not 2010, when he had the worst batting average since 1999 by checking in at .248. He did bash 18 home runs with 23 doubles, so kept his power output, but the 39-year-old's time is clearly done behind the plate as he has struggled his entire career to be a capable defender.

But that doesn't mean Posada's career is done after the year.

"I would like to keep my doors open, I would like if I feel good and feel like I can do it and having fun, I would like to keep going," Posada said. "I love playing the game. I just hope that everything stays healthy."

Does this mean that Posada could appear in a major league uniform that doesn't have pinstripes on it?

It's possible. The Yankees have stud catching prospect Jesus Montero, who can flat out rake -- but can't defend. The Yankees are hoping he can hang out behind the dish for a year or two, but that's optimistic. However, slotting him at DH for 2012 would give the Yankees a bona fide bat for the next decade who can mash with the best of them.

That, however, would push Posada out of New York.

It might be difficult to imagine Posada in another uniform, just like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, but unless the Yankees trade Montero, that looks to be what might be shaping up.

And Montero could very well be traded -- the Yankees don't exactly need to hang onto a young DH when they can just buy one of the better bats in the game to function as DH. Trading Montero could get the Yankees the starting pitcher they desperately need to challenge for the World Series, which would enable Posada to stay in town.

It's unlikely New York would pull off such a trade before Opening Day, but that could be to their benefit. The first half could be used to judge Posada's long-term prognosis at DH as well as evaluate which pitcher is off to a good start that could be swapped for Montero. One problem is that the free agent market for starting pitchers after the year is incredibly thin, so the Yankees would have to seek a pitcher under more than one year of control. That would get tricky in pulling off a trade, as the additional years of control drastically improve a pitcher's value in trade.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: January 17, 2011 12:22 pm
 

Martin blames 'distractions' for decline

Russell Martin
Catcher Russell Martin says he blames unnamed "distractions" for his drop from budding superstar to disappointment.

Speaking to the National Post in his hometown of Toronto, Martin, 27, declined to offer specifics. But he said his decline is no mystery.

"There's some things that you keep for yourself," Martin said. "Those distractions, they're personal -- personal issues in my life that not everybody needs to know about."

At the plate, Russell had a .285/.373/.433 line in his first three years with the Dodgers. The past two seasons he dropped to .249/.350/.330 and hit just 13 homers in 975 plate appearances. His 2010 season ended in early August after a hip fracture.

"I had some distractions that maybe led me not to have that same drive that I've had in the past," he said. "Really, that's all it is, honestly. I didn't train quite as--I trained hard, but before, nobody trained as hard as I did."
The dropoff cost Martin a lot of money. A 27-year-old catcher hitting the open market with the kind if numbers Martin had early in his career would have made a mint, but Martin had to settle for a one-year deal with the Yankees at $4 million. That's not chump change, but he has to look at the $50 million Victor Martinez got this winter and wonder what might have been.

New York is not exactly distraction-free, but Martin insists he's committed to getting back on track.

"I feel like I'm back where I need to be," he said. "Just mentally, I feel better. ... I think I've got a lot to prove, especially with the last couple years that I've had."

In an interview with a Toronto radio station, Martin said he's been told by the Yankees that he's "the starter and the number one guy" at catcher. That would indicate both that Jorge Posada will spend the bulk of his time at designated hitter and that the Yankees are not planning to make top prospect Jesus Montero the everyday catcher yet.

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: January 3, 2011 8:03 pm
Edited on: January 3, 2011 8:18 pm
 

DH market still crowded

Vladimir Guerrero If there's a surplus of one position on the free agent market, it may be the designated hitter spot.

Jim Thome, one of last season's bargain pickups, is still unsigned, as are Vladimir Guerrero, Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon. And then there's the not-retired Jermaine Dye, Jason Giambi, Russell Branyan, Jose Guillen and Hank Blalock.

So far this offseason, the Red Sox exercised their option on David Ortiz, the Yankees have said they'll move Jorge Posada out from behind the plate, as will the Tigers with newly-signed Victor Martinez. Adam Dunn will be a first-time designated hitter with the White Sox.

As for teams with needs, that includes the team Thome DH'd for last season, the Twins, who would like him back. Of course, after putting up the year he did, he feels like he deserves a raise -- especially with his 600th career home run likely coming this season. The Rays, Angels and Rangers also have obvious needs, while the Orioles, Royals and Blue Jays could upgrade at the spot or stay put.

As it stands, here how the current AL DHs line up:
Orioles -- Luke Scott
Red Sox -- David Ortiz
Yankees -- Jorge Posada
Blue Jays -- Edwin Encarnacion
Rays -- Matt Joyce
White Sox -- Adam Dunn
Indians -- Travis Hafner
Tigers -- Victor Martinez
Royals -- Billy Butler
Twins -- Jason Kubel
Angels -- Mike Napoli
A's -- Hideki Matsui
Mariners -- Jack Cust
Rangers -- David Murphy

And here's who is left on the market (2010 AVG/OBP/SLG HR, RBI)
Jim Thome .283/.412/.627 25, 59
Vladimir Guerrero .300/.345/.496 29, 115
Manny Ramirez .298/.409/.510 16, 42
Johnny Damon .271/.355/.401 8, 51
Russell Branyan .237/.323/.487 25, 57
Jason Giambi .244/.378/.398 6, 35
Andruw Jones .230/.341/.486 19, 48
Hank Blalock .254/.319/.349 1, 7
Jose Guillen .258/.314/.416 16, 62
Jeremy Hermida .216/.268/351 6, 29
Troy Glaus .240/.344/.400 16, 71
Mike Sweeney .252/.321/.444 8, 26
Jorge Cantu .256/.304/.392 11, 56
Jermaine Dye (2009) .250/.340/.453 27, 81

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 23, 2010 2:26 pm
 

Cashman says no room for Damon

The Yankees did indeed talk with Johnny Damon, as reported Wednesday, but general manager Brian Cashman said it was just a part of the team's vetting of all free agents and there's not really a place for Damon to return to the Bronx.

"It's something we do with every free agent," Cashman said in a radio interview. "I can't tell you if anything's going to happen there. There's not a clear role for him here.''

The Yankees are set with Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher in the outfield, and Jorge Posada is getting ready to transition to designated hitter, so it doesn't seem there would be much playing time for Damon, who still sees himself as an everyday player.

"I'm trying to get a utility infielder, I'm trying to get a right-handed hitting outfielder, I'm trying to get a starter and I'm trying to get a reliever,'' said Cashman, who also shot down rumors he was pursuing Freddy Garcia and Brandon Webb. "I'm working on things, but they have to make sense for us.''

-- David Andriesen

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Posted on: December 22, 2010 7:12 pm
Edited on: December 22, 2010 7:25 pm
 

Yankees have talked to Damon about a return

Johnny Damon The Yankees have talked to Johnny Damon about a return to the Bronx, Newsday 's Ken Davidoff writes .

Davidoff notes four sources indicated the two sides have talked about bringing Damon back to New York where he'd serve a part-time role as a backup designated hitter (behind Jorge Posada), as well as in left field, where he could spell Brett Gardner, or allow Garner to fill-in at center for Curtis Granderson or in right for Nick Swisher.

Damon, however, is looking for more guaranteed playing time.

Damon played with the Yankees from 2006-2009 before leaving for a one-year deal with the Tigers.

Damon hit .271/.355/.401 with eight home runs and 51 RBI for Detroit last season.

UPDATE: On his blog , Davidoff says he wouldn't bet on the reunion happening, but does see Damon in the American League East, perhaps with the Rays or Orioles. He notes Damon wanted to go to the Cardinals, but then the team signed Lance Berkman.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: December 8, 2010 1:26 pm
 

Martin down to four teams

Russell Martin Four teams -- the Blue Jays, Red Sox, Yankees and Rockies -- are the finalists for catcher Russell Martin, FanHouse's Ed Price writes .

Martin was non-tendered by the Dodgers last week, but has found a healthy market for his services. Martin was limited to 97 games last season with a hip injury and has seen his numbers nosedive since his two-year run as one of the better catchers in the game in his first three seasons.

From 2006-08, Martin hit .285/.373/.433 with 42 home runs. In the last two years, he's hit .249/.350/.330 with 12 home runs.

The Red Sox re-signed Jason Varitek last week, but may not be comfortable with Jarrod Saltalamacchia as their starter. The Yankees will be moving Jorge Posada to designated hitter, while turning over the catching spot to über-prospect Jesus Montero.

The Rockies and Blue Jays have lost catchers Miguel Olivo and John Buck, respectively, to free agency.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 4:35 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 6:50 pm
 

Reggie Jackson: Jeter will stay, rebound in 2011

Hot Stove League "Legends can play as long as they want," Reggie Jackson told CBSSports.com.

Who was he talking about? Derek Jeter, of course.

The Hall of Famer believes Jeter can continue playing at a high level and will, in fact, have a big year in 2011 after producing at a Marco Scutaro level in 2010.

"He has a big heart," Jackson says of Jeter, pointing to that trait as to what it takes to become a legend, trotting out the names of Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning as additional players with big hearts. That heart is what will drive Jeter to approximate his career line of .314/.370/.452, not the .270/.340/.370 he threw out in 2010.

That was bad timing on Jeter's part for a contract year, but Jackson doesn't expect that to stand in the way of the two parties coming to an agreement on a contract.

"The money won't be the determining factor," Jackson said, speaking while opening up
a new "The Original Soupman" restaurant ( made famous by the "Soup Nazi" episode of Seinfeld ) in New York City . "He wants to be here. The Yankees want him here."

Jackson is hopeful that the fans will be supportive of Jeter in 2011, especially in his drive for 3,000 hits in which he is just 74 away from the historic milestone.

"He's the best shortstop in Yankees history and it's important to appreciate that," he said.

Jackson knows a thing or two about appreciation, mentioning he thought he didn't have many years left in the game when he was 30, and yet ended up playing until 41.

"I played every day like it was my last," Jackson said. That's what endeared him to Yankee fans (that, and the three home runs in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. And that's how Jeter plays.

While Jeter is perhaps the biggest question mark of the three Yankee free agents, there are plenty of other storylines following Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, not to mention New York's pursuit of free agency.

Earlier Wednesday, MLB Facts and Rumors reported that Jorge Posada is okay with Jesus Montero competing for the starting catcher's job, and that Posada will be the full-time DH in 2011. That jives with what Jackson said Tuesday, who said that Posada is happy to do whatever the team wants -- but that he's more than capable of starting behind the dish.

"They say he's not a good defensive catcher, but he was behind the plate for all these World Series," Jackson said. "It's important to keep Posada to help him groom the next catcher."

Jackson As for Rivera, there's also no question that he'll return to New York, but Jackson took an interesting spin by contending that Rivera might become even more appreciated down the road than he currently is. Many consider Rivera the best closer in history, but Jackson wouldn't be surprised if Rivera eventually earns consideration for being the best pitcher in history. Rivera has survived on just one pitch for years -- a cut fastball -- and is still plugging along at age 40.

Putting aside that debate for future generations of baseball, there's no denying who the best pitcher on the market is currently, and that's Cliff Lee. New York is expected to make a massive outlay for Lee, something Jackson supports. But will it be as easy as it sounds, with the Yankees throwing the most dollars at Lee and inking the lefty?

"Watch out for the other teams who could say '[Lee] makes us a champion," Jackson cautioned, refusing to rule out a mystery team with the dollars to allocate to Lee if needed, rattling off teams such as the Red Sox and Angels. Jackson has a ready example for the last time such a team signed a player with most everyone unawares of the team.

"No one knew that the Yankees were going to sign Mark Teixeira," said Jackson, "and it happened."

The Yankees are flying out to Arkansas to meet Lee and get the process started, and New York isn't pulling any punches in their pursuit. If there's a mystery team to be had, they'll have to contend with a very serious and rich team willing to do anything they can to get Lee in pinstripes.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 8:58 am
Edited on: November 10, 2010 9:10 am
 

Surgery for Posada

Jorge Posada Yankees catcher (or is it designated hitter?) Jorge Posada will have knee surgery today, the New York Times reports .

The surgery isn't serious, it's to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee, but it does reinforce Brian Cashman's decision to let rookie Jesus Montero compete for the starting catcher's job.

There have been reports that Posada has said he prefers to stay behind the plate, but the Times report said Posada understands the situation.

"Posada said great and he was willing to do it," the Times quoted a sources as saying. "He was happy to know what the situation is."

The Yankees could also keep Francisco Cervelli around as a third catcher to go with Posada and Montero.

UPDATE: Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News writes that Posada's wife wrote on Facebook and Twitter that her husband would DH next season.

"As my friends you should be the first to know, yes Jorge will be the DH next year," Laura Posada wrote on her Facebook page. And on Twitter, she followed her Facebook status update with this: "yes, Jorge will DH next year."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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