Saturday, November 23, 2013

BREAKING: Yankees Sign Brian McCann

The Yankees have an agreement with free agent catcher Brian McCann that will make him a Yankee for at least the next five years. The contract is reported to be 5 years/85 million with a sixth year vesting option that can bring the contract to 6/100. The contract will have a full no-trade clause to ensure that McCann will remain a Yankees through at least the 2018 season.
The contract is the largest free agent signing for the catcher position in New York Yankees history. He will make $17 million per year and $15 million in his potential final year if the sixth year vests. Joe Mauer will still make more per year with an annual average salary of a whopping $24 million.

The Yankees have solved one of the pieces of ther seemingly never-ending puzzle of holes to fill. I see a trade in the works with one of the Yankee backup catchers  

As a left-handed bat at Yankee Stadium, McCann should hit at least 30 home runs given that he plays 150 games. With the way Girardi likes to rest his catchers, I see a healthy McCann catching 125 games and playing the remaining 25 games at DH or first base. Out of his eight full Major League seasons, Brian McCann has hit 20 or more home runs in a season seven times. His lifetime batting average is a healthy .277 for a catcher. As a left handed power bat I expect McCann to do well at Yankee Stadium. He has become a dead pull hitter recently which should suit him well to the short porch in right field.

In 2013, the Yankee catchers were dead last in the Major Leagues in the home run category, with only eight long balls from the position. McCann is not just an improvement, but a savior to the Yankees. Over the last two seasons McCann has thrown out 24% of potential base stealers, which is not very impressive but as an offensive catcher he will bring more to the table in terms of his run production at the plate. The Yankees won four championships with Jorge Posada behind the plate, along with his 28% career success rate in throwing out base stealers.

The Yankees were aggressive on McCann after the catcher came to New York earlier in the week to visit the Yankees. The Yankees brass is not waiting on anyone this off-season, and their patience will come to the ultimate test when it comes time to resign Robinson Cano, who they plan on meeting with this upcoming week.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Long Off-Season Ahead

The off-season is officially underway with the general manager and owner meetings in Florida beginning today. The deadline for accepting qualifying offers came last night at 5:00 PM and none of the three Yankees who received a $14.1 million, one year contract offer from the Yankees accepted. Robinson Cano was clearly not going to accept the offer as he is looking for a lucrative 10 year deal. Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda rejected their offers. After an injury plagued season for Granderson, he is looking for a multi-year contract and already has some serious suitors in line like the White Sox and Mariners. However, Granderson has made it clear that he wants to sign with a winner. He is still looking for his first championship ring and he doesn't feel that the Yankees are in that place right now.

Speaking of the Yankees, there is chatter at the meetings today about the Yankees and how they are in serious pursuit for Carlos Beltran, who is a free agent coming off the books in St. Louis. Beltran is still looking for a World Series title and he has always liked the Yankees. I see him as a good fit in New York, granted he will have to live with the pressures that he could not handle when he was with the Mets. The Yankees are also chasing after Brian McCann, a free agent catcher for the Braves who would provide the Yankees with lefty power behind the plate, something they were lacking in 2013 with the Chris Stewart/Austin Romine combination. The Yankees brass may feel obligated to put a new product on the field in 2014, as the 2013 version of the patchwork Yankees did not draw big crowds, and more importantly did not make the postseason for only the second time since 1995.