New York Yankees Are Finalist to Sign Tyler Flowers
As Day Two of the 2015 MLB Winter Meetings rolls around, the Yankees look to be staying the course as they continue to fly under the radar.
We’ve heard some speculation about the Yankees interest in Asdrubal Cabrera and Brian Cashman touching base with the Miami Marlins on a trade involving Jose Fernandez, but nothing has come to fruition just yet.
However, following the Yankees trade for Aaron Hicks that sent backstop John Ryan Murphy over to Minnesota during the GM Meetings earlier in November, the Yankees might be close to finding their new backup catcher to serve behind veteran Brian McCann.
According to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, the Yankees are one of three finalists’ to sign free-agent catcher Tyler Flowers.
Obviously the Yankees priority is to have their future catcher Gary Sanchez play regularly down in Triple-A Scranton and continue get regular at-bat’s instead of sticking him on the bench to watch Brian McCann behind the dish almost every day.
So on paper right now Austin Romine is the only player in the Yankees system who can serve as an every-day backup to McCann, but the Yankees have essentially given up on Austin Romine as a big leaguer.
That said, if the Yankees were to add Tyler Flowers, it would likely spell the end of Austin Romine, as the Yankees would likely once again designate him for assignment.
But is Tyler Flowers really more of an upgrade over Romine?
Offensively, probably not, as his career .223/.289/.376 slash line over the course of seven major league season with the Chicago White Sox tells you all you need to know. But still, for some reason the White Sox used Flowers as their starting catcher for a majority of the past two seasons before eventually non-tendering him this fall.
Defensively, the 29-year old Flowers is a much better option than Austin Romine. And as a matter of fact, according to Matt Goldman of SB Nation, Flowers is considered one of the best pitch framers in the MLB. Beyond framing however, Flowers doesn’t offer much else. He doesn’t necessarily slow down the running game or block many pitches in the dirt, but again, how much do you really need to ask out of a catcher who might play once a week?
If Flowers is mulling a decision between the Yankees, Braves and Rays you have to believe that the Yankees give him the best chance of making the big league club out of spring training.
The Braves already re-signed veteran A.J. Pierzynski earlier this off-season and have Christian Bethancourt backing him up. The Rays have a platoon behind the dish consisting of the recent acquisition of Hank Conger as well a Rene Rivera and Curt Casali set to battle for the starting job come spring training.
If the Yankees are content with continuing to groom Sanchez down in the minors, Tyler Flowers best option is certainly the Bronx.
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