Face to face Brian Cashman informed Jorge Posada that he will be the Yankees’ designated hitter next season, The Post has learned.
Cashman met with Posada in Manhattan this week to tell the veteran to, as usual, prepare to catch, but the team’s first option is to have youngsters Jesus Montero, Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine compete in spring training for the two primary jobs.
According to a source with knowledge of the conversation, Posada was “fine” with the message that turns the 39-year-old switch-hitter into primarily a DH, a role he has struggled with and has shown no affinity for previously.
I don’t buy into this idea that Posada has struggled to adapt to the DH role. It’s true his numbers are better in the field, but the biggest issue here is probably sample size. The other issue is probably the fact that most of the time Jorge has been the DH its been because he’s needed to because of an injury. If he plays a full and healthy season at DH, his numbers would probably be the same or better than with him behind the plate.
Also mentioned in the article is the fact that Posada is having surgery today to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. It’s not a major surgery, but it is yet another injury he’s had to deal with on a long list of injuries over the past few years. Posada used to be a pretty durable player in his prime. This is yet another sign he’s way past his prime.
So this seems to be indeed the right move to make Posada the full-time DH. The Yankees seem to be doing the right thing. The other day Posada seemed upset that Montero seemed to be getting his job right out from under him, but Cashman acted quickly to reach out to him in order to keep any issues from stewing.
Aside from just Posada’s age the Yankees need to do this because they need a young right-handed bat in the lineup. Posada, Alex Rodriguez, and Derek Jeter are not what they once were. Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano have stepped up to help out, but the addition of Montero could be huge for the Yankees if he can replicate his 2010 numbers, which were modest for him, in the majors.
So it’s important that everything happens smoothy. Cashman was smart in acting quickly to let Posada know the situation.