Romine's back & Martin's free agency


The Yankees have suddenly gone from an organization with too many catchers to one with too few. You have to feel bad for Francisco Cervelli because how would like to have done your job well, have your bosses agree that you have done your job well and then be demoted.

But that is Cervelli's situation.

The bigger issue that is emerging, though, is Austin Romine's back. Yankees GM Brian Cashman indicated that Romine's injury is not a long-term problem. Still, Cashman knows that a 23-year-old catcher with a back problem is a concern.

At the least, it could slow Romine's development, jeopardizing the possibility he could replace Russell Martin next season.

Martin is a free agent and, after initial talks, he and the Yankees have decided to table any discussion of a new contract until after this year. With Yadier Molina receiving a five-year, $75 million contract, Martin, with another good season, should be able to pick up at least a three or four year deal for around $10 or more million per.

If so, the Yankees might be priced out because of their desire to be under $189M by 2014.

The Yankees' best catching prospect Gary Sanchez -- who a scout said the other day can hit as well or better than Jesus Montero -- still has a few years before he will be ready. Sanchez is only 19.

Romine could be an important Yankee much sooner, but a troublesome back could certainly derail those plans. They have already messed with Cervelli's.