The consensus among the Yankees’ high command is that [Jesus Montero] who turns 21 on Nov. 28 – is ready to assume the starting catcher’s job, according to a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking.
He will likely be given the chance to win the starting job during spring training, turning over a position that has belonged to Jorge Posada since 1998. The front office believes that Montero is already a better defensive catcher than the 39-year-old Posada, who has struggled behind the plate – and to stay healthy.
The plan would be for Montero to catch roughly 100 games, said a source, with Posada and Francisco Cervelli sharing the rest of the duties. Austin Romine, the Yank’s other blue-chip catching prospect, would start at Triple-A, potentially taking over Cervelli’s spot by midseason if he shows he is ready.
This may just be the Yankees trying to inflate his value by building up the perception of him. Or it could be that they really believe in him being able to handle 100 games or so behind the plate.
Let’s face it, Posada was never a great defensive catcher and he’s slipped even further over the past couple of years. Cervelli isn’t great with the glove work either so there may be nothing to lose by putting Montero behind the plate.
The most interesting part of this report to me was actually the part about Romine. If the Yankees are potentially ready to call him up this season then that could mean that Cervelli is on the trade market. He could actually be a half decent trade chip too.