Are the New York Yankees in trouble at the catcher position?

New York Yankees, Kyle Higashioka
Jul 25, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka (66) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

As New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman focused all his efforts on signing Gerrit Cole to a massive nine-year, $324 million deal, he let a few quality backups escape in free agency. One of those players is Austine Romine, who was a serviceable replacement for Gary Sanchez last season when he spent time on the injured list with a groin injury.

Romine wasn’t only a reliable defensive catcher, but he hit adequately too, posting a .281 batting average with eight homers over 228 at-bats. Letting him walk was more Romine’s choice than the Yankees’, as he was in search of a starting job, an offer Cashman didn’t have available with Gary Sanchez healthy.

Therefore, the Bombers will stick with Kyle Higashioka, who has seen praise from Cashman recently:

“Like a lot of aspects of our roster, we feel we have the personnel that can do the job that we have high confidence in,’’ Cashman said last month.

Can the New York Yankees trust Kyle Higashioka in 2020?

Over 56 at-bats in 2019, Higgy hit an abysmal .214 with three homers. His statistical output doesn’t scream efficiency or productivity, which could be worrisome considering Romine’s quality at the plate last season.

Aside from Higashioka, the Yankees re-signed 40-year-old Erik Kratz on Friday to add depth to the position. Kratz is undoubtedly a depth piece and is more of a competitive factor alongside Kyle than anything else. Injuries to Sanchez are a matter of when and having two options offers more value.

While Higashioka and Kratz will compete for the No. 2 spot behind two-time All-Star Gary Sanchez this upcoming spring, Cashman may bring in a third catcher, especially if both are to produce minimal offensive support. Gerrit Cole’s preferred catcher, Martin Maldonado, could be a serviceable catcher for the Yankees, who are also looking to maximize their record-breaking signing by any means possible.