The Yankees have designated catcher Austin Romine for assignment, Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets. The move means that John Ryan Murphy will be the Yankees’ second catcher, backing up Brian McCann.
Romine, 26, was the Yankees’ second-round pick in the 2007 draft and was ranked as the 98th-best prospect in the sport by Baseball America prior to the 2011 season. Despite this solid pedigree and a .275/.330/.407 slash line over 2284 minor league games, Romine has yet to break through on the MLB level, posting only a .529 OPS over 181 PA with New York.
When MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes examined the AL East’s out of options players, he noted that Romine could be a trade candidate given his promise, youth and four years of team control. While Romine hasn’t done much to establish himself in the bigs, it’s also worth noting that he’s had to battle through a rather crowded catching picture with the Yankees over the last couple of seasons.
With catching depth in short supply, one would think a few teams will be asking the Yankees about Romine over his 10 days in DFA limbo. The Phillies and Padres have already shown some interest in Romine earlier this offseason.