Free agent catcher Austin Romine and Tigers closing in on two-year deal.— George A. King III (@GeorgeAKingIII) December 12, 2019
The Yankees will have a new backup catcher next season for the first time in a while. Austin Romine has been the team’s backup catcher since 2016, but now appears to have an opportunity to start in Detroit. The 31 year-old Romine will compete with Jake Rogers and Grayson Greiner, two young backstops who struggled last season.
This means the Yankees will either seek another backstop in free agency or trade to be Gary Sánchez’s caddy or roll with Kyle Higashioka. Higgy seems more than qualified defensively, as Bobby recently wrote. He’s also hit aplenty in the minors, though that hasn’t surfaced in limited big league action. Plus, Higashioka is out of options, so the Yankees would risk losing him should he not be the backup (or go with three catchers).
Romine was much maligned for his lack of offense during his tenure in the Bronx. But in fairness to him, how many backup catchers actually hit well? And really, Romine was sturdy when the Yankees needed him most. He always seemed to put together a nice run whenever Sánchez got hurt.
Happy trails, Austin.
Update, 12:42pm: It’s actually a one year deal, not two.
Austin Romine agrees to 1-year, $4.1M with Tigers. His brother Andrew played there 2014-17.— Sweeny Murti (@YankeesWFAN) December 12, 2019