Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have prioritized finding a catcher this off-season, and speculates that the New York Yankees could be a match. Sherman mentions that the Yankees are expected to keep Russell Martin, and that Jesus Montero will be his primary backup. He says that the Yankees could dangle Austin Romine, although they prefer him at AAA as a Plan B to Montero.
The guy that Sherman says the Yankees would trade is Francisco Cervelli. We heard rumors in July that the Pirates and Yankees had discussions about Cervelli. Sherman wonders whether the Pirates, or any other team, would view him as a potential starter or a safe acquisition due to his concussion issues.
It’s doubtful that Cervelli would cost much, although he’s not much of an upgrade over the current options in the system. Romine would be the better choice, although he’s far from a guarantee for success in 2012, since he’d basically be making the jump from AA to the majors.
The Pirates have made it clear that they won’t pick up the options for Ryan Doumit and Chris Snyder, which has led to speculation on the 2012 catching position. I’d be surprised if the Pirates entered the 2012 season with a combination of the players they currently have, unless of course they manage to bring back Doumit or Snyder through arbitration or at a cheaper rate. The Pirates were linked to a lot of catchers in July, and this news from Sherman suggests that they haven’t moved on from seeking outside help at the position.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.