Yankees put two backstops on the trade block, catching overhaul on the cards

Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt.

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The New York Yankees are out to part ways with two of their backstops. According to SNY’s Andy Martino, they have already informed other teams about the availability of catchers Kyle Higashioka and Ben Rortvedt.

Ever since the debut of Austin Wells, the Yankees have had a surplus of catchers and it has been expected that they would deal with two of their three catchers with them. This is one of several changes the team appears to be preparing for upcoming roster modifications.

Yankees preparing to say goodbye to two catchers

Martino reported that the Yankees are suggesting in their discussions with other teams that they are willing to trade at least two of the catchers on their 40-man roster. Their plan is to go into the upcoming season with Jose Trevino and Austin Wells as their catching duo, which could result in Ben Rortvedt and Kyle Higashioka being impacted by a roster crunch.

According to Martino, Ben Rortvedt, at the age of 26, has garnered the Yankees‘ and rival scouts’ approval for his defensive skills, although he has yet to establish himself as a major league hitter. The Yankees would retain him for depth based on his defensive abilities, but it’s not feasible due to Rortvedt having no remaining minor-league options. On the other hand, Kyle Higashioka, aged 33, is an esteemed veteran catcher with one year left until he becomes a free agent. The emergence of Austin Wells is the primary factor that might make Higashioka a candidate for non-tendering.

Kyle Higashioka has been the subject of trade speculation this offseason, and it appears that both he and Ben Rortvedt might be on the move. The Yankees are primarily focused on addressing their offensive needs and have been linked to the possibility of a major trade for San Diego Padres’ standout, Juan Soto. Additionally, New York is keen on bolstering their starting pitching rotation. Given their depth at catcher for the 2024 season with Wells and Trevino, it seems likely that Higashioka and Rortvedt will be playing for other teams.

Kyle Higashioka’s time with the New York Yankees started in 2017 when he was brought up from the minor leagues. Over the next five seasons, he served as the understudy to Gary Sanchez, getting limited playing time as the backup catcher. Higashioka was finally given the chance to be the Yankees’ number one catcher entering the 2022 season after Sanchez continued to struggle defensively. Higashioka performed well in spring training, generating optimism about his offensive potential in a full-time role.

However, once the regular season began, he was unable to sustain that level of production at the plate. His offensive struggles eventually led the Yankees’ front office to acquire Jose Trevino in an offseason trade. Trevino quickly established himself as the superior option behind the dish, officially supplanting Higashioka as the Yankees’ starting catcher. Despite showing promise as Sanchez’s successor, Higashioka was unable to capitalize on his opportunity when made the first-choice catcher.

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One thought on “Yankees put two backstops on the trade block, catching overhaul on the cards

  1. I’m sure getting Soto will mot be an easy deal.
    Cashman needs to pull off some big moves in order to compensate for a bunch of blunders.

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