A Catcher Trade. Right? They Have To. ...Right?
The Yankees love to use their roster efficiently. Fans may not always agree with their protection decisions, but at least New York always seems to have one eye on service time and one eye on prospects who are more tradeable midsummer because of impending Rule 5 concerns.
But ... somehow ... they've managed to make it all the way to February with five catchers on the 40-man roster. Protecting Agustin Ramirez from the Rule 5 Draft? Smart! Keeping Carlos Narvaez and Ben Rortvedt around (after trading Kyle Higashioka to San Diego)? Kind of confusing.
Bucking conventional wisdom, it still feels slightly more likely they trade Rortvedt than Narvaez. The Yankees recently signed Luis Torrens to a minor-league deal, who requires playing time at Triple-A. So does Narvaez. So does Rortvedt. Why keep the player who's shown the least at the major-league level, and also has the least growth still left ahead of them?
Keeping the entire trio, as well as all five catchers currently on the 40-man, would be obnoxious. It's a close call, but if Rortvedt isn't intended to be in the majors to provide comfort for Cole, then what exactly does allowing him to soak up all the Triple-A starts do for you? Narvaez could have a higher ceiling, and it would be nice to watch him approach it.