Since Russell Martin bolted for Pittsburgh in favor of a two year, $17 Million commitment the New York Yankees have been quietly trying to determine how to address their vacant catcher position. With few options on the open market standing out above the rest, the team took steps towards at least ensuring that they’d have some options after agreeing to sign Bobby Wilson to a minor league deal with an invitation to Spring Training.
Wilson joins his third team of the offseason, having been claimed on waivers by the Toronto Blue Jays in mid-November before the team non-tendered him.
The 29 year old Wilson has seen limited playing time with the Los Angeles Angels over the past five seasons. He’s seen 449 plate appearances over that span, batting a combined .208/.272/.321 with 8 HR and 37 RBI. Serving as the team’s second and sometimes third option, Wilson appeared in 77 games this past year for Los Angeles, hitting .211/.277/.292 in a career high 201 plate appearances. Out of options, Wilson has stuck on the Angels roster largely because he’s been an asset defensively behind the plate – something Angels manager Mike Scioscia has long placed a high premium on.
None of the catchers on the Yankees current 40-man roster would appear to be a favorite to win the team’s starting job behind the plate, barring any additional moves this winter, so a strong Spring could bode well for Wilson. Austin Romine may have the most promise from the group, but he’s going to have to overcome a spotted injury history before he earns any significant playing time.