Sunday we looked at one New York Yankee icon, Derek Jeter, in our '25 For 28' series. Today, let's look at another of the remaining members of the Yankee old guard -- the players who were around for the glorious late 1990s run of World Series titles.
We turn our attention today to Jorge Posada, who will move from everyday catcher to designated hitter and -- in all probability -- occasional catcher.
Name: Jorge Rafael (Villeta) Posada
Contract Status: 4 years/ $52 million (2008-2011)
2010 Stats: .248 batting average, .354 OBP, .454 SLG, 2.4 WAR, 120 wRC+
2010 In Review: Posada, who will be 40 before the 2011 season ends, showed in 2010 that he can still hit. Only a .248 batting average, but 18 home runs and 57 RBI in 383 official at-bats. Any Yankee fan understands that Jorge has never been a great defensive catcher -- use whatever term you like, but let's not argue about that now. As could be expected, his defense has deteriorated with age. Thus, after watching Posada surrender eight passed balls and 32 wild pitches in 83 games and throw out just 13 of 85 would-be base stealers (15 percent), the signing of Russell Martin and the move of Posada to designated hitter makes sense.
The Good: Posada can still hit, as I said above. Being able to avoid the daily pounding of playing catcher should help his offense. Plus, his leadership and toughness are still valuable assets to the Yankees. Winning is still important to Posada.
The Bad: Well, there is what is left of Posada's defense if he is forced to catch. There is also the question of what to do with him if he doesn't hit enough to warrant being in the lineup most days as a designated hitter. Or, if Alex Rodriguez needs to spend considerable time in that spot.
2011 Outlook: I think Jorge has enough left in the tank offensively to at least approach his career averages across the board on offense. Enjoy Jorge this year, because my best guess is that he is the next of the Core Four to be out the door.