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Remember That Catcher Dude We Have?
Thursday, February 12, 2009
A couple weeks ago, when I read that the Red Sox had agreed to give Varitek $5 million with a $5 million club option for 2010*, I actually cackled aloud. "Bobby Abreu can't find a job and this chump gets $5 mil?!"

Then I remembered that the Yankees have a similarly well-loved but aging catcher on their books, and they're paying him a hell of a lot more than that**, and I shut my trap.

In case you've forgotten, Jorge Posada scored himself quite the lucrative deal after his out-of-nowhere 2007 successes (.338/.426/.543), but we didn't see much of him last year. In 2008, the first of his 4-year deal, he played just 51 games thanks to a nagging shoulder injury that eventually resulted in surgery at the end of July. Jorgie performed decently in the few chances he had last year, hitting .268 with 3 homers, but he never had enough time to really warm up before or after the surgery. While he was gone, the catching position was a little bit of a disaster (fit right in with the rest of the team!), with Molina, Pudge, and Chad Moeller (remember?) trying to contribute what they could to the cause while we all wished that Posada would not only make a triumphant return but somehow duplicate what he did in 2007.

So what's going to happen this year? With each year that goes by since the 2000 win over the Mets, the desperation to win another World Series seems to expand exponentially. The mega signings of CC, Burnett, and Tex are really piling the pressure on for the team to succeed this year, and everyone knows that a World Series win (or at least appearance) would do wonders to improve A-Rod's legacy. A healthy, productive, reliable Jorge Posada is key to a successful 2009.

The good news is that Jorge has already arrived in Tampa to start preparing for Spring Training, and everyone - including Jorgie - is optimistic about his health. While only time will tell if he is fully healed from his surgery, there don't appear to be any lingering ill effects. He won't catch a ST game until the middle of March, and the plan for the season is to have him catch about 100-110 games and he'll spend the rest of his time sharing the DH spot with Matsui and Damon. It wouldn't be wise to expect him to hit .300 again, but if we could count on .270 with 20 homers, he'd be worth every penny of the $13 million the Yanks will be paying him this year.

*BTW: Varitek DECLINED arbitration that would have gotten him about $10 million in favor of filing for free agency, and this is what they were able to come up with. Has Boras lost his touch or his mind?

**BTW again:
Jorge Posada is far better than Varitek.

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posted by Yankees Chick @ Thursday, February 12, 2009  
  • At 6:44 AM, Blogger YankeeFiend23 said…

    After what Jorge has meant to the Yanks I think he already earned that contract. This year we need him to meet or exceed the 100-110 game goal. Hopefully next we got a youngster in there to learn while Jorgie stays fresh DH'ing a decent percentage of the time. Eventually sliding into an almost full time DH role. Honestly, I don't care what he does or doesn't do over the next 3 years. He doesn't have to live up to a contract to still be one of my all time favorites.

  • At 2:17 PM, Anonymous AceUofMer said…

    Jorge has always been such an asset to the yanks. A pretty good catcher that is an above average hitter. With the prospects they have, Im guessing they feel they could always find a spot for Hip Hip even if he does start to break down. Tex took away an option for him. So now you have to hope he can exceed in the catching department. The good news is I hear he is really throwing with some zip on the ball already. I think they will be cautious with his games played. This will be a huge topic at the end of the year I think. With Matsui, Damon possibly leaving.

  • At 3:15 AM, Anonymous Heretic said…

    Look, I know you Yankee nuts love old Jorge, but even comparing him to Varitek is a bad joke. Jorge has hit slighty-moderately better than Varitek over the course of their careers... big deal. There is no catcher that works harder, does better pre-game prep, knows pitchers and batters throughout the league better, or makes his pitcher on the mound better than Jason Varitek. He's caught the MLB record 4 no-hitters, and it would've been 5 if Schilling hadn't stupidly shaken him off on the last pitch. None of that is coincidence.

    Bottomline, Georgie Porgie isn't fit to clean Varitek's spikes, and I hope the Captain has the opportunity to give A-Roid another glove sandwich before he retires! :)

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