Yankees News/Rumors: Catcher Competition, A-Rod to Jeter, Another Yankee to the Phillies and more!

New York Yankees, Zach Britton

A Daily look at a summary of News and Rumors of interest for New York Yankees fans!

Catcher Competition: Spring Training is just weeks, and George M. Steinbrenner Field will see several Yankees compete to be at Yankee Stadium on opening day.  At first base, there will be a competition between Luke Voit and Mike Ford as to who will operate that base.

At third base stand out Gio Urshela pretty much as the job nailed down, but Miquel Andujar will try to wrestle it back to the hot corner after missing all of last year.  But maybe the most prestigious competition will be for who will replace Austin Romine as the backup catcher to Gary Sanchez.  One would assume it would be Kyle Higashioka who had some time behind the plate last year.  The 30-year-old has been with the Yankees for three years now and has played in only 56 games over the span.  During the offseason, Austin Romine signed with the Detroit Tigers leaving Higashioka, the only backup catcher.

Meanwhile, the Yankees acquired 39-year-old Erik Kratz, who has caught in 316 games in the past ten years.  During January, the Yankees acquired Chris Iannetta, the 36-year-old veteran who has played 1200 games with the Rockies and the Angels.  The Yankees are happy with Higashioka’s defense at backstop but would like to see him be more productive with the bat.   Iannetta is a better hitter and has the most experience.  The three will work hard to get that opening day start.

A-Rod to Jeter:  Two days ago, Derek Jeter was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  Jeter and Rodriguez spent ten years next to each other manning the left infield at Yankee Stadium and have had an up and down relationship.  Tuesday evening when Rodriguez learned of Derek’s election to the Hall sent this message to Jeter:  “To The Captain Derek Jeter – congratulations on taking your rightful place in the Baseball Hall of Fame where you will be, for eternity, as one of history’s greatest players, at any position, in any era.”  A-Rod who had at an equal star career to Jeter’s may never see baseball’s highest honor due to his involvement in the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Jeter on missing by one vote:   Derek Jeter missed by one vote of becoming the second Yankee ever to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously, the other was Mariano Rivera who was elected unanimously last years  Since the vote, the Internet and Yankee fans have been furious that he missed by one vote.

Everyone wants to know who didn’t vote for him.  The Hall does not give out the names of those that vote for or against anyone.  As I said, everybody is upset, that is, except Derek Jeter.  In a statement, he said, “See, that’s where our minds are a little bit different,” I focused on the ones that did. I mean, it takes a lot of people to all agree to get you to this point. So, as I sit up here on this stage right now, that’s just something that doesn’t cross my mind.”

Another Yankee to the Phillies:  Many of the Yankee faithful may remember super-utility player Neil Walker who played with the Yankees in 2018.  Walker can play all infield positions and is the newest of former Yankees to join the Philadelphia Phillies.  He will join former Yankee manager Joe Girardi, last year’s shortstop Didi Gregorius, Andrew McCutchen, Ronald Torreyes, and reliever David Robertson. However, Robertson will be out most if not all of the 2020 season recovering from surgery.