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Posada to the d.l., Yanks shopping for a catcher

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Well, the Yanks suffered a pretty significant blow today, with Jorge Posada being placed on the d.l., and possibly out for some time:

It should have been a terrific day for the Yankees, one of the best of the season.

Instead, it was perhaps the worst, a day when they found out that a truly indispensable member of the team, catcher Jorge Posada, was not going to be available for some time.

* * *

Earlier tests indicated that there was no structural damage to his right shoulder. But Sunday's experience made Posada wonder about that.

"The MRI showed a strained muscle," Posada said. "I think it's more than that."

That would be a layman's opinion, but it's also his shoulder. Posada has never been on the DL in his career, which is a remarkable record for someone in his second decade as a Major League catcher.

In the past eight years, Posada has averaged 142 games per season, which is one of the reasons the Yankees felt secure in giving him a four-year, $52.4 million contract, even at age 36, over the offseason. This was part of the reason that Posada may have been feeling that the weight of the world was directly upon his right shoulder on Sunday.

"You want to play," he said. "You put the uniform on and you take pride in playing."

But Posada will be resting rather than playing for the short-term future. He said that he hoped to schedule an appointment with Dr. James Andrews, the noted Birmingham, Ala., orthopedic surgeon to get another opinion.

There is no debate on the question of Posada going on the DL.

"We've got to get him healthy," Girardi said.

"I'm going on the DL, I think we've got to be smart about it," Posada said.

Backup catcher Jose Molina will be the No. 1 catcher now while the Yankees seek another reserve backstop. Molina is a capable defensive catcher, a thoughtful handler of pitchers and a member of the first family of catching. But he was the first one to acknowledge that the Yankees could use a speedy return to full health by Posada.

I've got to think Jon Daniels is going to be on the phone with Brian Cashman right now.  Jose Molina is a bad player...he'll be 33 in June, has never had 250 plate appearances in a major league season, and has a career 638 OPS.  He's a backup, nothing more.

Meanwhile, in Arlington, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is up, and is going to be phased in as the regular catcher.  Gerald Laird is better than Molina, and would seem to be a good fit for the Yanks.

Before you ask, I don't know what the Yanks would give up for him, what would be a fair return, or even if they are actually interested in Laird.  But I wouldn't be surprised if Daniels, realizing that the team to make a move with Laird is now, rather than later, decides to pull the trigger and make a deal with the Yanks (or use the Yanks' need for a catcher to leverage a team like Boston, who has been interested in Laird in the past, to make a deal to keep Laird from New York).