31 May 2011
Jorge Posada’s numbers over the last 28 days….173/.328/.231. The last 14 days show a line of .125/.276/.208. The last 7 brings you to .000/.091/.000.
The Yankees have already benched him against lefties (Andruw Jones is the DH tonight) but they really can’t keep running him out against righties if he is going to put up numbers like this. Girardi handled him poorly two weeks ago against Boston, but this clearly can’t go on. The question is, what are the Yankees going to do with him?
My first move would be to see if I could get anything for him on the trade market. It’s highly unlikely, but I do wonder if the Mets would swing at a pitch in the dirt and trade Beltran for Posada? It makes no sense from a performance standpoint, Beltran is hitting .279/.369/.514, but the Mets are in serious financial trouble. It sounds like they are going to sell a 33% stake of their team to an investor for $200 million. But, it gets better than that. The $200 million must be paid back in 3 years. If it is, the investor gets to keep 16% of the team anyway. If it isn’t, he has the option to buy up to 60% of the club. That’s how bad the Mets’ finances are, they are essentially willing to give 16% of the team away for a $200 million loan. So, maybe the $5.5 million difference between Beltran and Posada’s salary is something that would interest them. And their catcher hitting at a .230/.301/.278 clip. But, I assume that won’t happen which means the Yankees are going to have to solve this one on their own and that means benching him completely or releasing him.
The problem with benching him is that he doesn’t provide any value on the bench unless he can hit. He is not a candidate to be a defensive substitute and he is certainly not a candidate to pinch run. I guess you could make the argument that he could possibly draw a walk in a key situation, like he did last week, but is that really a reason to give someone a bench spot? It’s not and the Yankees would be better served with someone like Pena, Golson or Maxwell who could provide some speed and defensive coverage on the bench. (Note, I am not in the group that says Montero should get the promotion and become the everyday DH if the Yankees release Jorge. First off, his bat has cooled big tim3- .753 OPS. Second, the Yankees have older guys who can really benefit from a day at DH. I prefer letting the DH rotate depending on the pitcher, rather than using Montero right now. If his bat heats up again, then promote him.)
So, the Posada solution would have to be cutting him and that is going to be a delicate operation. The first step is giving him the next two weeks or so and seeing if there is anything left in his bat. Assuming the answer is no, the Yankees can bury him on the bench for a week or so and then find a spot to give him one last at bat in front of the home crowd. That would show Jorge the respect he has earned and also give the fans a chance to say goodbye. It’s not a pretty way for a great Yankee’s career to end, but sadly, it is becoming more and more inevitable.