After 17 years in Yankees pinstripes, Jorge Posada announced his retirement. Well, Jorge did it on his own terms…. and the veteran decided he would rather hang up his catcher’s gear than try to squeeze out another year of his career with another squad. Posada was one of four New York Yankees that includes Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera and they are lovingly known as the Core Fore -- taking home 5 World Series titles from 1996-2009 whille appearing in 7 World Series.
He is one of only five catchers in baseball history to compile at least 350 doubles, 250 home runs, and 1000 RBIs and the debate heats up whether Posada will make it to the Hall of Fame. So now who will try to fill his shoes?
The Yankees traded their top catching prospect, Jesus Montero, to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for starting pitcher Michael Pineda. So a lot of young talent with be on parade during spring training and New York Yankees tickets at ABC is handling a lot of inquiring phone calls from fans who want to bask in the sun and watch their favorite Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa.
And a hot ticket for Yankee Stadium, besides the Red Sox, will be to see Prince Fielder of the Tigers come to New York. Fielder recently signed a $214 million, nine-year contract.
Getting back to the Yankees catching situation, young talented catchers in the organization includes Gary Sanchez, Austin Romine and J.R. Murphy.
They are not household names yet, but perhaps they will be one day.
"We've got exceptional depth and good quality of depth behind the plate," said Mark Newman, the club's senior vice president of baseball operations. "That's a premium position, and we have a high level of talent there," he told Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com Newman is being modest.
Sanchez could be a better all-around catcher than Montero, but the consensus is that he needs time to develop. Sanchez hit .256 with 16 doubles, 17 home runs and 52 RBIs in 82 games for Class A Charleston last season, and he continues to make progress. In 2010, Sanchez combined to hit .329, with eight home runs and 43 RBIs, in 47 games in the Gulf Coast and New York-Penn Leagues.
As for Romine, he is less of an offensive threat than both Montero and Sanchez, but many believe he has the skills to be an everyday catcher in the big leagues. He hit .286 with six home runs and 47 RBIs in 85 games at Double-A Trenton, and .133 in four games at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre last season. Romine also hit .158 in nine games for the big league club. Romine, selected in the second round by the Yanks in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, has a .281 batting average in 427 Minor League games. Murphy was selected by the Yankees in the second round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft. He spent the year making an impression with Charleston, the Yankees' A Ball affiliate.