Jorge Posada Plans to Play in World Baseball Classic

In a report on ESPN Deportes, helpfully translated by River Avenue Blues, Jorge Posada's father says that his son plans on playing for the Puerto Rican team at the World Baseball Classic. He wouldn't catch for his native land, a good thing since shoulder injuries kept him from making good on the first year of his four-year contract extension in 2008. The report does have a team official denying the report, using the injury as a justification.

It's more than a justification for Posada skipping the WBC, it's an obligation. Playing for your national team is obviously a prideful thing, and Posada shouldn't be faulted for wanting to take part in the tournament. He can't let an exhibition get in the way of his responsibility to the team that's paying him tens of millions of dollars, though, not when you're turning 38 and were limited to 51 games in 2008.

He'll just be DHing the argument goes, and wouldn't it be a good thing for him to knock some rust off his swing before the season starts? That would be a very good thing, but the far greater need is for the Yankees to figure out how much of the catching load he will be able to handle. They've got a capable backup in Jose Molina and can use Posada as the DH from time to time. If he needs to make a more permanent move to that spot, though, the Yankees will need to adjust their roster accordingly.

Hideki Matsui can't do anything but DH. Between Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady and Nick Swisher, they've got a glut of corner outfielders and two centerfielders in Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Keeping all of them works only if Posada is catching five or six days a week. If he isn't you've got to carry a third catcher and have to make at least one trade to create roster flexibility and a useful bench.

They need to know that based on how Posada's calling games and throwing out runners, not based on how he looks swinging a bat against Taiwan.  

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