With $52MM man Jorge Posada looking done for the 2008 season, the Yankees catching tandem consists of Jose Molina and Chad Moeller. Debate over whether Molina and Moeller can be part of a viable play-off contender is limited to the fringes of Yankees fanaticism.
So I was surprised to see nothing about trading for an upgrade at catcher in the New York papers this morning. Amongst the names I expected to see were Ivan Rodriguez, Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Olivo, Johnny Estrada, and Paul LoDuca. None of them are signed beyond this season, and all would improve the Yankees' catching situation.
It may be the case that the Yankees' beat writers have been "advised" to avoid jumping the trade gun until more information is known about Jorge's shoulder, which he says has completely sapped his power and throwing ability. Whether holding back provides any advantage to the club, I don't know, but I expect those catcher names to become very prominent over the next 9 days - and I expect other teams know the Yankees' negotiating disadvantage regardless.
For the medical lowdown on Jorge Posada's shoulder, head over the Will Carroll's Under The Knife column.
In other trade rumor-related news:
The Cardinals' pursuit of a lefthanded reliever to fortify their bullpen has intensified as the club has expressed interest in Baltimore closer George Sherrill, sources said. Sherrill, an All-Star who has 29 saves and a 3.89 ERA for the Orioles, has drawn increased attention from several teams, including the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cardinals have declined to discuss specific candidates. They have said lefthanded relief is one area they are looking to improve before the non-waiver trade deadline. Another possibility is Texas lefty reliever Eddie Guardado. The Rangers have interest in Class AA starter Jess Todd.
Whether that pays off where Washburn's trade value is concerned remains to be seen. The New York Yankees are said to have some possible interest in Washburn as a fallback plan if their bid to land Toronto starter A.J. Burnett fails.
The St. Louis Cardinals are the National League team most often mentioned in Washburn rumors.
The Dodgers, who reportedly have interest in reliever Huston Street with closer Takashi Saito out for six weeks, have a scout at this series. Los Angeles' biggest need might be for a shortstop, because of Rafael Furcal's back injury. Could Bobby Crosby be a possibility?
Yankee scout Rick Williams is following the Dodgers, who will entertain offers for right-hander Derek Lowe if he will bring L.A. a much-needed bat. Lowe is a free agent after the season. . .
One team source said Boston's interest in reliever Damaso Marte has heightened. The Red Sox are one of nearly a dozen teams to have inquired.
Torre said Andy LaRoche could start at third base for the entire series in Colorado, an indication that the Dodgers might be showcasing him for a potential trade. Though Torre said General Manager Ned Colletti had "irons in the fire," he claimed that he had to put LaRoche in the lineup out of fairness to the 24-year-old.
A source has indicated the Sox have been in discussions with ''more than one'' team about adding pitching help, either in the rotation or bullpen -- or possibly both -- and the major discussion is whether they dare part ways with minor-league third baseman Josh Fields.
The Yankees and Tampa Bay have scouts in town for the Dodgers series, wanting to get another look at left-handed closer Brian Fuentes. During the weekend, Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit, Arizona and the Angels all had scouts ch3cking out Fuentes. So far, no concrete offers have been made.
Ten days before the nonwaiver trade deadline, Orioles closer George Sherrill continues to be one of the most coveted players on the market, with the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers among the most aggressive suitors, according to industry sources. The Orioles are believed to be seeking two or three prospects - one potentially being a shortstop - for the 31-year-old All-Star reliever.