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Yanks' catching question already answered?

Change in Cervelli's status may end any competition
02/25/2013 11:15 AM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Brian Cashman confirmed Sunday that Francisco Cervelli is out of Minor League options.(AP)

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Once Russell Martin officially departed for Pittsburgh earlier in the winter, the Yankees' catching situation became one of the hottest of the hot stove topics, one with a multitude of questions; would Austin Romine shine and earn a Major League job despite missing most of last season? Could Chris Stewart really be the everyday catcher? Would Francisco Cervelli indeed forego the competition, at least initially, to play for Italy in the World Baseball Classic?

The world found out that "no" is the latter answer at least, and when all was said and done, the Yankees were basically bringing four players into camp to "compete" for two spots.

But have circumstances already determined the fates of the foursome?

A few days before camp opened, general manager Brian Cashman stated at a benefit for radio producer Carlos Silva that "developmentally, Austin Romine should begin at Triple-A," but that he wouldn't rule out the possibility of Romine making the team.

Now, on Sunday, the GM confirmed to YES Network's Jack Curry that he misspoke when discussing the situation earlier in the month as it relates to Francisco Cervelli's remaining Minor League options; Cashman had said that Cervelli had an option remaining, but as it turns out, he does not.

Stewart is also out of options, meaning that if the team chooses to keep one or both of Romine or Bobby Wilson, they will have to put Stewart and/or Cervelli through waivers before they could assign them to the Minor Leagues.

Competition over?

It appears, given this new news, that it may be, and Cashman also stated that because of the situation, Stewart and Cervelli "have a leg up" right now.

Curtis Granderson's injury on Sunday serves as a reminder that anything can happen until Opening Day, but given that Wilson is on a Minor League deal (and, thus, could simply be assigned to the Minors) and Romine still has options (and, as Cashman said, would be best served developmentally to be at Scranton), it appears that as of now, what was the Yankees' biggest question mark in camp is actually not a question at all.

Follow Lou DiPietro on Twitter: @LouDiPietroYES

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