As the Yankees season came to a close on Thursday night, there was a lot of uncertainty in the air. Would CC Sabathia opt out? Was Ivan Nova’s injury serious? And what’s up with Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez? But probably the most interesting thing to watch this offseason in Yankee Land will be the handling of Jorge Posada by the front office.
Posada, 40, is no longer an option to catch and essentially can’t hit lefties anymore. In 71 plate appearances, he hit just .092/.169/.108 which adds up to a .131 wOBA and -2.5 wRC. Towards the end of the season and during the postseason, Joe Girardi wouldn’t even toy with the idea of letting Jorge face a southpaw.
There is also Jesus Montero. If the Bombers do decide to re-sign the aging veteran, they would be hamstringing themselves from developing their top prospect. It’s not like riding the bench will help Montero nor will starting the year in Triple-A Scranton for a third straight year. Sure Montero would still see action against lefties, but after the September he had this year, it would be nice to get him as many at-bats as possible.
The plus side for giving the designated hitter another year is that he is still productive against righties as he posted a .353 wOBA and hit all of his 14 homers against them. They could bring him back as the designated hitter strictly against right-handed pitching and as a late-game pinch hitter.
The other thing that Posada has going for him is that he is a “true Yankee.” He’s one of the core four players and has been in New York for his entire career, making him a fan favorite. He reaffirmed this by being the Yanks’ best hitter this postseason going 6-for-14. I don’t put too much stock into playoff performance, but we know that they’re all about winning in October so maybe that could help them.
In the end, I think Posada’s time as a Yankee has come to an end. After the 2009 season, the Bombers were trying to get younger so they let go of Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui despite both players being productive throughout the year. I can see the same thing happening with Posada, and I can also see him going to an American League team on a one-year deal to be a designated hitter because he has a lot of pride. Hopefully, this situation doesn’t turn out too ugly because it certainly has that potential.