Never really liking that chant that incorporates Jorge Posada’s name, I always loved him as a member of the Yankees. He is right to retire this winter. He could have done this last season, but no harm, no foul.
With all of the changes in Major League Baseball, there are timeless traits for some teams. The Mets, even in their bad years usually breed good pitching; think Nolan Ryan, Mike Scott, Dwight Gooden, Scott Kazmir, etc. Now the Mets have Brad Holt in their system, and he is likely to make a mark in the Majors soon.
The Yankees have traditionally bred good catchers. Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey, Elston Howard, Thurman Munson, and now we can add Jorge Posada's name to the list. Does Posada measure up with those great catchers? Not exactly, but he has done yeoman’s work for the Yankees, regularly driving in 100 runs and being steady behind the plate.
The Yankees have a plethora of prospects in the minors that can be Major League catchers real soon. We’ve already seen the hitting of Jesus Montero late last season. Austin Romine is the probable starting catcher for the Yankees at some future date. Gary Sanchez (at the Single A minor league level) is considered a great prospect. I’ve seen Sanchez play, and the Yankees should not be afraid to trade him if needed.
Posada fits well into the tradition of Yankee catchers mentioned here, all of whom played their entire careers in New York. Posada was a favorite for manager Joe Torre, although not as popular with Yankee pitchers. Orlando Hernandez and A.J. Burnett probably wish he had retired sooner. Loyalty to one’s city means something, however, and Posada is credited with continuing that tradition.
Johnny Damon Redux?
The Yankees are pondering the return of Johnny Damon now that they have unloaded rookie prospect Jesus Montero. Damon is a good fit for the Bombers, since he will come on the cheap. Damon knows that he held out for too much money in 2010 and was unhappily exiled from the Bronx.
He is also a good choice because the Yankees could use some veteran maturity in the clubhouse. A-Rod is not the big brother type, and with Posada gone it may be the self-proclaimed “idiot” Damon who adds a needed bit of sanity.
The Yankees have said that they are not set on a particular type of player to be their designated hitter, which makes absolutely no sense. There is only one kind of DH. Since 1974, when Ron Blomberg was the first DH in the American League, the only kind of DH was a guy who could drive in runs. Damon can drive in runs.
Damon also brings his own little constituency of fans - true American League fans like Damon. No reason to not sign this guy.