Rumor: Yankees not excited by Pierzynski, could start Romine


The Yankees need a catcher and A.J. Pierzynski still available. It seems like an inevitable match, but it doesn’t sound like they are considering making him an offer as Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported that they are not excited by Pierzynski and could go with Austin Romine instead.

This is exactly like the time the Yankees said that Bubba Crosby would be their starting center fielder just before signing Johnny Damon. Unfortunately this time they might go with Crosby — metaphorically speaking.

At least Crosby was a major leaguer though as there are serious questions as to whether Romine is ready for The Show. A back injury limited him to just 31 games last season and only 17 of those were at the Triple-A level. That gives him just 21 games of experience at the Triple-A level in his career and it’s not exactly as if he’s thrived there hitting just .197/.267/.342 at that level.

Even if they thought he was ready there are serious questions about his health. He missed most of last season because of a back injury. Those are typically bad injuries that tend to linger around for typical position players. For catchers back injuries are serious red flags and his injury has already lingered going back to the summer of 2011.

If he makes the jump it’ll be a faster promotion than any Yankees catcher since the days of Yogi Berra. Not even Thurman Munson or Jorge Posada, both¬†borderline¬†Hall of Famers at the position, came along this fast.

The Yankees are in a tough spot though. Francisco Cervelli is the best hitter among their catching options, but that’s like calling Mark Sanchez the best quarterback on the Jets. On top of that, the Yankees are afraid of Pierzynski’s defense, but Cervelli’s D is worse. Their other options, Chris Stewart and Bobby Wilson, can both play strong defense, but neither can hit at all.

So the Yankees are passing on a veteran backstop that is both a better hitter and defender than Cervelli for crap, two defensive catchers, and one that isn’t ready and has dealt with chronic back problems. It makes you question their logic of resisting a multi-year offer to Russell Martin only to turn around and give a two-year deal to a 39-year-old outfielder.

About Rob Abruzzese

Rob Abruzzese created Bronx Baseball Daily in 2008 just before graduating from Brooklyn College. He currently serves BBD as its editor and works as a reporter at the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. Follow Rob on Twitter @RobAbruzzese.
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7 Responses to Rumor: Yankees not excited by Pierzynski, could start Romine

  1. John says:

    Munson arguably came along faster than Romine. He had 28 games at AAA and only 99 minor league games overall before being called up. Romine has fewer games at AAA but spent an extra year at AA because he was blocked by Montero. I do agree however that Romine is a big risk because of his back issues.

    • Romine wasn't exactly blocked by Montero. The Yankees had the two of them at the same level multiple times. They would have gone along with that, but eventually they felt like Romine wasn't ready for the jump and he got left behind. They never made a decision to promote Montero at Romine's expense. Romine's development just didn't keep up.

  2. jonathan says:

    I think the yannees should have signed Josh Hamilton to put him in left field, put granderson in cf and ichiro in rf…. than they could switch them up n take turns giving them breaks….. Hamilton would have been great his batting average in Yankee stadiums is outstanding n he would have took advantage of the rf wall n hit home runs….. also they should have signed russel Martin for a year knowing that there wasn't going to be any c atchers on the market….. n there main focus should be pitching…. they got cc sabathia as the starter, kuroda as the. #2 starter, pinedawho throws 103 mph, nova as the #4 starter so they need a #5 starter because Phil Hughes isn't getting the job done….. n they should of got rid of -rod n got David Wright or another good third basement…

    • Pete says:

      And I'm sure you would have liked them to trade for Justin verlander and Miguel Cabrera too right? Why not sign Hamilton and extend arod while we're at it. Hell, let's pay a 100 million dollar luxury tax, we're the Yankees…. LoL this isn't fantasy baseball buddy.

    • Martin didn't want a 1-year deal. I think you forgot about Brett Gardner. And if Hughes isn't cutting it, but Nova is? Also, Pineda is hurt and probably won't even pitch in 2013. Finally, David Wright wasn’t a free agent this offseason, or ever.

    • Tanned Tom says:

      Does your mom know you're using her computer?

  3. Mike says:

    Anyone who has had back issues knows they NEVER go away. For someone so young and a catcher to boot, to miss so much time with this injury, signals a brief career. I hope for his sake I'm wrong.

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