The New York Yankees’ latest trade, executed a few days ago, landed them their current starting third baseman (Josh Donaldson) and shortstop (Isiah Kiner-Falefa), as well as a backup receiver in Ben Rortvedt.
They had to drop catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela as part of the trade.
One of the additions, Rortvedt, is already struggling with an injury.
According to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, this has the potential to send him to the injured list to start the season.
“Yankees GM Brian Cashman said club aware of slant tension from receiver Ben Rortvedt; said ‘it’s possible’ he will start season on IL,” Rivera tweeted .
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the club was aware of receiver Ben Rortvedt’s slant strain; said “it’s possible” he starts the season on IL.
— Marly Rivera (@MarlyRiveraESPN) March 21, 2022
According to MLB’s Bryan Hoch, the situation is “working itself out” and it’s unclear if he’ll start the year on the shelf.
Brian Cashman said the #Yankees were aware of Ben Rortvedt’s oblique injury at the time of the trade. “It’s getting resolved,” he said. It’s unclear if Rortvedt will be ready for opening day.
— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 21, 2022
“It’s an oblique stump, it’s going to take time. So is there enough time to get rid of it before opening day, which also means that it prepares properly? I don’t know yet,” said the general manager, by Max Goodman of SI.com.
The Yankees’ catching situation isn’t ideal
Rortvedt was supposed to fight with Kyle Higashioka for playing time.
Rortvedt strikes on the left, while Higashioka is right-handed, so they could complement each other well as a squad.
Now, however, it looks like Higashioka will be the undisputed starter, with Rob Brantly currently handling backup duties due to his MLB experience.
There may not be enough time to bring an upgrade via trade, and there are no difference factors available in free agency.
Rortvedt hit .169 / .229 / .281 in 98 plate appearances with the Twins in 2021, but his minor league showing suggests he could hit a little better than that.