Monday, March 17, 2014

By: Gavin Ewbank | Lead Writer

In Boston Globe columnist Nick Cafardo's latest Sunday column, the baseball insider discussed a few topics surrounding the Yankees, including the trade rumors involving catcher Francisco Cervelli.

Starting with Cervelli, Cafardo says that the Yankees are a little cautious about dealing him because they feel that if something should happen to Brian McCann, then Cervelli would be the best option the start in his place.

As Cafardo writes, "There appears to be a market for Cervelli on the trade front as the Yankees try to whittle their catching options and add a reliever. Austin Romine could serve as Brian McCann’s backup."

Cervelli has been having a great spring both in the field and at the plate for the Yankees. He continued his hot-hitting in Panama on Sunday with a 3-for-3 game, raising his spring average to .480 (12-for-22).

Chad Jennings of Lohud first reported last week that several teams had been watching Cervelli.

Here's what Jennings had to say:

"Cervelli’s trade value is seen as fairly limited. A non-Yankees source suggested a team might be willing to trade one of its own out-of-options player for him; basically an excess-for-excess swap. It seems that teams realize Cervelli could be expendable, so they're checking on him."

My thoughts: Keeping Cervelli would be best for the team to start the season, at least. Every team has depth somewhere on the diamond, and the Yankees just happen to have that at the catcher position, and it's often best to hold onto that depth.

Remember when the Los Angeles Dodgers had more starting pitchers than they could handle last spring before getting rid of a couple of them? Well, a couple injuries later and they found themselves with a huge hole in their rotation.

On Stephen Drew: Even though the Yankees don't have any interest -- at least not publicly -- in signing the free-agent shortstop, others around the league see it as a good fit, as Cafardo writes:

"There are scouts and front office people who feel the best fit for Stephen Drew is the Yankees. With the short porch for a left handed pull hitter “he could hit 20 home runs there,” said one American League East adviser. With Derek Jeter retiring after this season and the injury-plagued Brian Roberts at second base, the feeling is they could get Drew at-bats at shortstop, DH, and second base, and then have him take over shortstop next season. One major concern for the Yankees has to be the range of their infield, which Drew could improve."

Although they might not be too fond of their current infield situation, the Yankees look ready to head into the season with an infield core of Mark Teixeira, Brian Roberts, Derek Jeter and Kelly Johnson start at the four positions, with Brendan Ryan and maybe Eduardo Nunez and Scott Sizemore are potential backups.

Lastly, on Michael Pineda: Cafardo also took a little bit of a look at the Yankees' fifth starter competition, including Pineda, who ash been looking pretty impressive in his first couple of spring outings.

"If spring training ended today, he would likely win the No. 5 starter job, which has been up for grabs among Pineda, Adam Warren, David Phelps, and Vidal Nuno." Cafardo wrote. "One or two of the losers will likely find spots in the bullpen. They still have a need for a lefty reliever with Matt Thornton being their one and only for the moment.


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