The New York Yankees were hoping to retain Russell Martin as their catcher. However, Martin is now with the Pittsburgh Pirates and that leaves the Yankees searching for someone to handle their starting catching duties.
Right now, on the roster, the Yankees have Francisco Cervelli, Austin Romine, and Chris Stewart on the 40-man roster. It is likely they will add a catcher but we could be seeing a Cervelli-Stewart duo which probably won’t get many Yankees fans excited.
Mike Napoli and A.J. Pierzynski are the best catchers left on the market but there is little chance the Yankees would be interested in either of them. Napoli hasn’t caught more than 90 games since 2009 when he caught 96. Pierzynski will probably cost more than the Yankees will be willing to pay.
That leaves very few catchers of starting caliber on the free agent market. Miguel Olivo is available and might be had on a one-year deal. Olivo has some pop in his bat but is only a .241 career hitter who hit .224 two years ago and just .222 last season. Dioner Navarro has youth on his side as he is only 28 but he has a lot of wear on him and he might be better suited for a backup spot these days.
Martin’s departure might actually force the Yankees onto the trade market but the area is thin there as well. Whatever the Yankees do they probably won’t be able to match Martin’s production behind the plate or at it. This might hurt until one of the Yankees young catchers is ready to step up like Romine or Gary Sanchez, but that will be a couple of seasons away. Either way, there should be plenty of MLB rumors surrounding the Yankees and catchers in the coming weeks.