March 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli (17) warmup prior to their game against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
When I read the tweet saying that the "San Francisco Giants traded Chris Stewart" I thought to myself "please don't be the Yankees, PLEASE don't be the Yankees." Not only was Chris Stewart traded to the Yankees, but even worse, the Yankees traded George Kontos to the Giants to get Stewart.
Stewart, a former and now current Yankee, simply cannot hit the baseball. Stewart boasts a career OBP of .273, and a career slugging percentage of .290. No those are not typos. So assuming Stewart was acquired for his ability to catch the baseball, why can't Gustavo Molina, Craig Tatum, Jose Gil, or any other scrub catcher in the Yankees system do that?
What I do not and will not understand about this trade is why the Yankees insisted on acquiring another catcher, rather than just promoting one of their catchers from within.
Austin Romine is out for longer than expected likely, so the Yankees wanted an extra catcher, but why couldn't the team just sign the most random scrub to a minor league deal? Was the need to trade for Chris Stewart so strong?
I've been a vocal critic of Francisco Cervelli, but he simply did not deserve to be demoted to the bus rides and multiple home stadiums that the Empire State Yankees offer. Cervelli did nothing to hurt his cause, but the Yankees shuffled him away in a paperwork move.
Then there's George Kontos. Kontos isn't going to blow anyone away, but he's a fantastic pitcher to have as depth for a Hector Noesi type role. Say David Phelps needs to go into the rotation, or struggles. Will the Yankees shift another one of D.J. Mitchell/Adam Warren to the bullpen? Kontos has been solid in Spring, and pitched well last season as well.
Regardless of the need for catching depth, the Yankees made a ridiculous move here. There was zero need to trade for Chris Stewart rather than signing a random player to play in AAA, and there was zero reason to demote Cervelli. Hopefully this isn't the sign of something greater.