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11/29/2007 12:30 PM ET
Yankees sign catcher Jorge Posada to a four-year contract
The New York Yankees announced today they have signed switch-hitting catcher Jorge Posada to a four-year contract.
Posada, 36, batted a career-high and team-high .338 (171-for-506) in 2007 with the Yankees, ranking fourth in the American League in batting average. He earned his fifth career All-Star team selection and his fifth career Silver Slugger Award after also establishing a career high in hits and doubles (team-high 42) to go along with 20 home runs and 90 RBI in 144 games played (125 starts at C, five at DH and one start at 1B).
Having never been placed on the disabled list in his career, Posada has started at least 120 games at catcher in each of the last eight seasons (2000-07), a feat matched only by Jason Kendall. Posada's 177 HR and 686 RBI as a catcher are the most by any Major League catcher since 2000 and only Kendall (1,119) has started more games at catcher over the eight-year stretch than Posada (1,019).
Among the Yankees' all-time leaders, Posada's 218 career home runs rank ninth, while his 861 RBI rank 12th and his 304 doubles are tied with Paul O'Neill for 13th most in franchise history. Only Yogi Berra (306) owns more home runs as a Yankees catcher than Posada (210).
In 2007, Posada became the first Yankees catcher to finish a season in the top 10 in batting average since Thurman Munson in 1978 (.297, 10th) and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, became the only player in Major League history to hit at least .330 with 40 doubles, 20HR and 90 RBI in a year in which he caught in at least half of his games played.
His 61-point increase in batting average from 2006 (.277) was the largest increase in average by any Major Leaguer who qualified for the batting title in each of the last two seasons and according to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the largest increase by a Yankee since Bobby Murcer in 1971 (.331, an 80 point increase from 1970).
Posada is one of only eight catchers in Major League history to record at least 20HR in seven or more seasons, joining Mike Piazza (11), Johnny Bench (11), Yogi Berra (10), Gary Carter (9), Carlton Fisk (8), Lance Parrish (7) and Roy Campanella (7). He and Ivan Rodriguez are the only two catchers in Major League history to record two seasons of 40 or more doubles.
Originally selected by the Yankees in the 24th round of the 1990 First-Year Player Draft, Posada owns a .277 career batting average (1,334-for-4,814) with 304 doubles, 218 HR and 861 RBI in 1,432 games played, all with the Yankees. He has thrown out 26.5 percent of attempted base stealers in his career (287-for-1,085). His 96 career postseason games played are fifth most all-time while his 19 postseason doubles rank third on baseball's all-time list.
For his work with the Jorge Posada Foundation, Posada was selected as the Yankees' recipient of the 2007 Roberto Clemente Award, which is given annually to the Major League Baseball player who combines outstanding skills on the baseball field with devoted work in the community. He was also honored this season with the 2007 Bart Giamatti Caring Award from MLB's Baseball Assistance Team. Posada and his wife, Laura, have two children, Jorge Jr. (7) and Paulina (5).