Catcher Travis d’Arnaud bagging a two-year deal for $16 million from the Braves will help Austin Romine no matter where he lands.
With big-game pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg heading this winter’s free-agent class, backup catchers aren’t hip at this time of the year, and the Yankees will certainly be involved with Cole, Strasburg and Zack Wheeler.
Yet, as a first-time free agent, the 31-year-old Romine has been more important to the Yankees than the garden-variety backup because of Gary Sanchez’s injury history the past two seasons.
Still, there is a chance the Yankees allow Romine to split and turn to Kyle Higashioka to back up Sanchez, who has been on the injured list four times in the past two seasons with lower-body ailments that have limited him to a combined 195 games in which he hit .211 with a .776 OPS, 52 homers and 130 RBIs. He did improve defensively in 2019 after a nightmarish 2018 season.
The big question surrounding Romine is whether he can be a No. 1 catcher after never having done that in the majors. It takes only one team to believe Romine can be a front-line catcher and offer him a multi-year deal. And considering he is a better…