Alex Rodriguez now has a teammate to lean on during his new PED drama. According to reports, New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli was also on the list of possible PED users from the Biogenesis clinic in Miami, FL. While no specific drugs were mentioned next to his name, it does appear on a list that includes Rodriguez as well as 2011 National League MVP Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers, Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays, Danny Valencia of the Baltimore Orioles and Cesar Carrillo of the Houston Astros.
With the departure of former Yankees starting catcher Russell Martin to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Cervelli was expected to compete with 2012 backup Chris Stewart for the starting job in 2013. While the appearance of his name doesn’t automatically connect him to any PEDs or put him in line of a suspension, there is no doubt Major League Baseball will look into the matter. If MLB finds reason to suspend Cervelli for the 50 games that a first time PED offender would receive, it could send the Yankees into a panic to fill his role. The team could go with Stewart as the starter and have Triple-A catcher and former prospect Austin Romine as his backup. However, Romine is coming off a back injury that limited him to 31 games last season. The team may prefer to keep him in the minors to give him the ability to play everyday and continue his development. The team could also promote Bobby Wilson, whom they signed from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, to the 40-man roster. Finally, the team could look to the free agent market to add another catcher. Chris Snyder, Matt Treanor and Rod Barajas are still unsigned.
Yankees Spring Training camp was already going to be one of uncertainty due to the Rodriguez drama, the return of injured players Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Brett Gardner and the addition of Kevin Youkilis. Now this Cervelli news might make it a bit more interesting.