2011 Could Be Jorge Posada’s Final Year

jorge-posadaThe Yankees lost their first member of the Core Four this offseason when Andy Pettitte retired. How soon until they lose their next? It could be by the end of this season.

Jorge Posada is going to be 40-years-old this summer, has relinquished the starting catchers duties, and most importantly, he is in the final year of his contract. 2011 very easily could be Posada’s last in Pinstripes.

When it comes to aging stars, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman takes a tough approach. He practically had to pry a jersey off of Bernie Williams, he let it be known that Hideki Matsui was not welcomed back a mere days after he won a World Series MVP award, and he took a hard nosed approach against Derek Jeter in contract talks this offseason. When it comes to Cashman, he is a man with an eye on the future.

So when Posada said this line to Tyler Kepner of the NY Times:

“After this year, it would be real tough to look somewhere else,” Posada said. “If I want to play, I would like to stay here.”

It might have been the first sign that 2011 will be Posada’s last year in baseball.

This is not to say that Posada can’t play in 2012 if he wanted to. But Posada, a very proud player, would have to swallow a lot of pride to get it done.

He is going to be the everyday DH in 2011 and that doesn’t mean that he would necessarily get that job in 2012. The Yankees will likely want that job to go to Alex Rodriguez at least part-time. That means there may only be about 80 games where Posada would be in the starting lineup. Is that enough for him to be happy?

Posada has also made a lot of money in his career. His current contract is worth $13 million annually. If he’s going to return he’s not going to even come close to that figure. Would Posada swallow enough pride to sign a deal that would essentially be incentive laden and likely south of $5 million?

Also, even if he did try to drive the value up by talking with other teams, which he probably wouldn’t even do, would he be able to find anybody interested in him? It might be embarrassing, but the recent market for DH’s has been pretty bad. Just ask Jermaine Dye (out of baseball), Manny Ramirez (signed for just $2 million), or Vladimir Guerrero (he signed with the Orioles, the Orioles!).

So for Posada to play in 2012 he would either have to swallow some serious pride to convince the Yankees to take him back or do something he said he won’t do and talk to other teams. Or both.

Enjoy it because 2011 is probably the final year of Posada’s career.

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16 Responses to 2011 Could Be Jorge Posada’s Final Year

  1. Mike S. says:

    **we see four successive seasons** of retirements…

  2. I don't think calling them the Core Four takes anything away from Bernie. He simply wasn't part of their group, four guys who all came up in 1995 and won 5 World Series with each other. Bernie came up a few years before and wasn't part of the 09 championship. That's all. Doesn't mean Bernie wasn't important, it doesn't really even mean they were the most important.

  3. Mike S. says:

    It wouldn’t shock me at all if this is Jorge’s swan song. It may just turn out that we four successive seasons will be the final years of Andy (2010), Jorge (2011), Mo (2012) and Jeter (2013). Who knows if Alex lasts until 2017 or retires before then, and even though they are still playing, 2009 was it for Damon and Matsui in Yankee uniforms.

  4. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I love Jorge but hope that it is indeed his last year. Unless he tears it up offensively. In which case, a 1 year DH contract might make sense. But if he just has a "good" year or worse, than the DH should be left open for others as there will be plenty of demand for that spot going forward.

  5. Ernie B says:

    I’m so tired of hearing Core Four!! Didn’t Bernie Williams contribute to these same Championships??!! Wasn’t he just as important?!!
    I love Jorge & hope to see him back, but as we all know without the wonders of HGH time catches up with all of us. And with an aging team, that DH spot becomes even more important as a day off.

  6. Russ says:

    I think the reports of Jorge Posada’s demise are greatly exaggerated.

    One of the things I’m most looking forward to in 2011 is to see what he does with nothing to worry about but hitting and some serious, healthy and consistent ABs.

    I just have this feeling that Jorge is going to have a monster year as a full time DH. It’s not based on one of those fancy sabermetric formulas or a giant graph that I concocted to predict the future. It’s simply based on watching the guy since before day 1, seeing his pride and his feeling he has something to prove, and his becoming a better and more disciplined hitter in the last half of his career.

    There is just something about the guy that makes me see a man on a mission. I don’t think .280/20-25/90 is unlikely as a full time DH. Also, with a good year, letting him go would be a massive mistake. With all the hype that Jeter gets for being the Captain, Posada quietly in Jeter’s shadow has been the Lieutenant,a valuable clubhouse presence with his willingness to be the bad cop to Jeter’s good cop. That dynamic, and the willingness to pull guys aside and let them know when they are not holding their own, is very important and should not be taken lightly. Posada is a key cog, and his leadership would be missed as much as his bat, and that needs to be considered in the evaluation of his future.

    • Mindkind says:

      Good points Russ. Like you i also believe that Posada will have a really good year with the bat. I also agree with

      “It’s not based on one of those fancy sabermetric formulas or a giant graph that I concocted to predict the future. It’s simply based on watching the guy since before day 1″

      Loved that!

      I think nowadays people get too caught up in all the new stats that try to “predict” future performances. I think stats are good but sometimes good old naked eye observation is better and effective.

      • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

        Sabermetricians aren't any better at predicting the future than an old school baseball guy as far as I can tell based on the results. What they are very good at is determining what actually happened historically and putting as much understanding on it as possible.

  7. john says:

    I hope Posada makes the Hall of fame and that may be part of the reason he has wanted to stay at Catcher this long. Numbers relative to a DH mean more from a catcher.300 HRS as a catcher may get him in. I may be too sentimental but Id rather see Posada go out with a solid year in pinstripes and move to the coaching staff than see him DHing for a 100 loss Mariners or Indians team.I am kinda glad Bernie didnt end up elsewhere overstaying his time like Willie Mays or Favre. Its better in a way to think he may have had something left than to watch themlook bad.

  8. Mike S. says:

    Jorge 1714 games so far. .275, 261 HR. OPS+ 123. Five rings, but he didn’t contribute much in 1996. Four where he was integral. 5x all star, 5 Silver Sluggers, no GG, 2x top 10 MVP voting.

    Just need to compare.

    Ted Simmons. Another switch-hitting catcher. 2456 games. .285, 248 HR, OPS+ 117. 8x All Star, 3 top 10 MVP finishes, 1 Silver Slugger. No rings. Hmm. Simmons much more games, Posada the HR, Simmons the BA. Jorge slight edge in OPS, Simmons the AS, MVP consideration.

    Simmons started getting a lot of DH time in his early 30s, whereas Posada didn’t. As opposed to Posada, Simmons only caught 50 games after 1983, when he turned 34.

    Simmons only got 3.7% of the vote in 1994 then off the ballot.

    I think Simmons probably deserved better consideration than that, but I bring up Simmons because if Posada’s stats aren’t too far off from Simmons, then it shows the uphill battle Jorge will face.

  9. Russ says:

    I'm a firm believer that Posada is a lock for the HOF. He simply blows away many of the catchers already in the HOF. I'm talking Schalk, Farrell, Lombardi, Ewing, and even to some extent Gary Carter and Carlton Fisk.Those guys are already beneath Posada's numbers.

    Aside from those guys, here is Posada's "slash line" compared with the rest of the catchers in the Hall (Negro Leaguers excluded due to statistical reasons). As you'll see, with these guys he's right in their league.

    Posada .275/.479/.856

    Bench .267/.476/.817

    Yogi .285/.482/.830

    Campinella .276/.500/.860

    Hartnett .289/.489/.858

    Dickey .313/.486/.868

    Cochrane .320/.478/.897

    Fisk .269/.457/.797

    Carter .262/.439/.773

    As you can see, the numbers are there. Would it help him to play 2 more years (this is where DHing will be a huge asset) to get to 300 HRs and inflate his "counting numbers"? Sure, but according to the modern metrics, there is no doubt he belongs and that's before getting into all the intangibles.

    Yes, I know it's ironic that after my earlier sarcastic post about sabermetrics, I took the time to look up the slash line of all the HOF Catchers. The thing is, there are far less than you'd think.

    PS — To me, the most interesting part of this discussion is noticing just how underrated Dickey, Hartnett & Cochrane are. Usually people tend to put Bench & Yogi at #1 & #2 and maybe that thinking needs to be reconsidered by the mainstream media people and fans.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      Slash lines are hardly the kinds of things sabermetricians focus on. They mean very little when looking at different eras. Posada played in an era where offensive stats were much easier to come by, primarily due to steroids but unfortunately, no one is going to give him any due as someone who probably didn’t use.

      Everyone of the catchers you listed had a higher career WAR than Posada, mostly by A LOT (as does Ted Simmons by A LOT who is not in). The only exception is Campanella who retired because of an accident and has 3 MVPs to his credit. Posada only appeared on an MVP ballot twice, which is NOTHING for a HOF caliber player. Even the overwhelming majority of players who are HOF scrubs that don’t belong have way more MVP presence than that.

      While I think the world of Posada, I would virtually bet my life that he will not get in, at least by the writers. He may get in via the Veterans Committee if Jeter and a few other Yankees somehow are on there years from now.

      • Mike S. says:

        Regarding Campy, he was on the way down (bad 1956 and 1957, not to mention 1954) before the accident, but you have to wonder what kind of years he could have had, say 1943-1947, had he been allowed to play then.

        As for his 1955 MVP, well there is a long story behind that one. Let's just say that Duke may have gotten the shaft that year due to a technicality.

        One problem is, defense matters. Posada was not known for his D, as were other catchers. A couple of GG's would have helped Jorge's cause here.

        Jorge is borderline, and I doubt he makes it. Unless, as HC states above, Jorge gets in via the Vets at age 70 or so.

        • Mike S. says:

          I should also add for Campy, not only 1943-1947, but also, even if he could have played (no segregation) in that era, if no service time. For even if he could have played (no color barrier), WWII may have taken him away anyway.

  10. i"am going to miss my Number 20# Catcher Jorge Posada, for the New York Yankees team, he was the best, one of the greatest, Catchers their was in Baseball history, just like his father he shared a great experience with the New york Yankees all his life in Pinestripes, He Married

    the woman of his dreams, Laura Posada, the Most Intellgent Beautifull woman in the world. and they had two beautifull Children together Jorge Jr. 11 and Paulina posada 9. I'll never forget that moment when he went through a tough situation with his son Jorge Jr when he was 3

    Years old with Crynostosis i prayed for that little boy and i'm glad, he's doing okay anyways i'm glad him&laura posada, did a foundation for little sick kids with Crynostosis i'am very proud of them. i'am going to miss my favorite baseball player i hope he has great year with the family

    Christa Pellicci
    Stamford Ct,