The New York Yankees made several trades over the weekend, and one of them resulted in catcher Jose Trevino coming over to the Bronx in exchange of Albert Abreu and pitching prospect Robert Ahlstrom.
Trevino didn’t hide his excitement about becoming a member of the Yankees roster. “I feel like everybody says this but as a kid growing up, you look at the Yankees. You admire the guys that played in the pinstripes and played for the city…As a kid you always want to be a Yankee and for me that was my dream,” he said to Erik Boland.
Abreu has always been a promising reliever, but he was out of options and he wasn’t a lock to make the roster, so the Yankees wanted to get something out of him. They are getting Trevino, a 29-year-old catcher with a lousy offensive profile, but very, very good defense, especially in one extremely important aspect of the modern game: framing.
Jose Trevino, Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt were all among the top 30 in Statcast's Catcher Framing Leaderboard last season (minimum 750 pitches called).
That's a massive organizational upgrade on defense at an incredibly important position.
— Max Goodman (@MaxTGoodman) April 2, 2022
The Yankees love Trevino’s defense
Trevino hit .239/.267/.340 with five home runs and a poor 64 wRC+ last year with the Texas Rangers, so there is not a lot to like about his offense other than the fact that he would have hit around eight homers in Yankee Stadium.
His defense, however, is ideal for what the Yankees are trying to build. The art of stealing strikes is often a very underrated exercise that can influence the outcome of a game and is very helpful for pitchers: a couple of strikes are usually the difference between a quality start or a stinker.
Trevino finished in the 96th percentile (!) last season in Statcast’s catcher framing, with eight catcher framing runs. By playing only 89 games, he posted a +15 defensive rating in FanGraphs, fueled by 8.8 Framing Runs and +8 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). He may not hit like a starting catcher, but he can sure steal strikes from umpires. That’s something the Yankees will surely appreciate, as they got below average defense the last few years with Gary Sanchez.