During an interview on WFAN, Yankees’ General Manager Brian Cashman implied rather directly that the extent to which Jorge Posada is no longer an option behind the plate is entirely the result of his own actions.
According to Cashman, when Francisco Cervelli was injured during spring training, the Yankees turned to Posada as a potential backup for Russell Martin, but the veteran backstop decided that he would be better off focusing on his new role as DH. Cashman also stated that lingering headaches resulting from last season’s concussion also contributed to Posada’s reticence to get back behind the plate. If Cashman’s version of events is accurate, it would mean that the Yankees could have enjoyed more roster flexibility had Posada decided, or been physically able, to embrace the role as a backup to Martin.
Considering how poorly Cervelli has played since returning to the active roster, and how much Posada has struggled as a DH, it seems as if both problems could have been mitigated if the Yankees and Posada had better prepared for the current predicament. Cashman’s recent revelation is particularly ironic because it has been assumed that one reason Posada has bristled in his new role was because of the lack of an opportunity to catch. What’s more, it also contradicts the prevailing thought the Yankees, not Posada, pulled the plug on a backup role because of lingering health concerns.
Posada has not yet been asked about Cashman’s comments, but one wonders how the feisty veteran will react to the implication that his failure to stay in shape is the main reason preventing him from stepping back behind the plate. Without knowing the extent to which last year’s concussion has hampered his ability to catch, it’s hard to say how receptive Posada would be to the Yankees’ willingness to have him work his way back into being an option at the position. In the meantime, for the sake of harmony in the clubhouse, it’s perhaps even more important that Posada doesn’t contradict Cashman’s account or express resentment at the idea that the end of his catching career has been self inflicted.