Thursday, November 16, 2017


Source: Bob Levey/Getty Images North America
It's weird to think about right now but as the Yankees look to make improvements to their roster and managing staff they could look at the free agent market and make one more addition to the team. I'm just not sold that this would be a big upgrade BUT....could the Yankees also be looking for a new backup catcher?

I like Austin Romine, I think he's a good guy but truth is he is really just an okay defender with a lackluster bat. He actually barely cracks the top thirty in defensive stats and when you aren't a great defender and are a sub-par hitter that just makes it worse. Romine doesn't really stand out as having one great standout skill, which is a problem when you are on a rebuilding and young competitive team.

Photo: Getty Images
So I guess the question the Yankees stick with Romine or look for someone else to backup Gary Sanchez? The Yankees know what they are getting with Romine, he's been around for six years now. He outlasted names like Jesus Montero and John Ryan Murphy and even looked like the more appealing option for catcher back in September when the Yankees were preparing for the Wild Card game against the Twins. Several media sources like NY Daily News and Newsday even wrote pieces calling for Joe Girardi to start Romine instead of Sanchez.

Source: Stacy Revere/Getty Images North America
So if media outlets had so much faith in Romine in a must win game, is there anyone else out there that could be considered an upgrade? There are two catchers that are free agents, Jonathan Lucroy and Alex Avila. I doubt Lucroy would sign with the Yankees for a backup catcher role but Alex Avila is used to a backup role already and could be intriguing.

If the Yankees want to improve their offensive production in their backup role Avila would give more of that then Romine. This season in 376 plate appearances he had a .236 BA, hit 14 home runs with 49 RBI's. It certainly beats Romine's 80 plate appearances and .218 BA with 2 home runs and 21 RBI's. His left handed bat would also come in handy at Yankee stadium. Offensively, he has more to offer than Romine does. Defensively though, he's not a significant upgrade over Romine and his bat outshines his defensive skills.

Could the Yankees make the call and try to sign Avila? Maybe, but he is going to want a lot more playing time and behind Sanchez that's not likely. Honestly who wants to be stuck behind one of the games most exciting young catchers? I am willing to bet it's not Avila.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincess

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