"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Risky Business?


The Yanks agreed to a 5-year deal with free agent catcher Brian McCann today. A physical is pending.

McCann has pop and is an upgrade if an expensive one. And, as Jon Taylor writes at SI.com, he was worked hard behind the plate in Atlanta.

At least we know he’s got a good game face.

Hey, if he’s on the team, wearing the pinstripes, I’m happy to root for him. Just remind me what was wrong with Russell Martin again?

[Photo Credit: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]

Categories:  1: Featured  Hot Stove  Yankees

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1 TheGreenMan   ~  Nov 24, 2013 12:02 am

The Russell Martin thing was a mistake. We have to move on. Brian McCann was the absolute top priority for the Yankees this off-season. I'm thrilled. Let's go get Choo or Beltran and Tanaka now.

2 RIYank   ~  Nov 24, 2013 7:26 am

He'll be overpaid at the end of the contract, but, that's what happens with free agents.
So, they're giving up on Austin Romine, I guess.

3 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Nov 24, 2013 7:29 am

What was wrong with Russell Martin? Maybe Cashman is a Sonny Rollins fan.
McCann hits 25 taters then all will be well. I shall be fine with then end of the Chris Stewart Era.

4 rbj   ~  Nov 24, 2013 9:07 am

Wasn't the one strength of the Yankees farm system the catching position? That's worked out well.

5 MSM35   ~  Nov 24, 2013 10:15 am

He can DH plenty now and play first at the end of the contract. Still need good catching. No need to wear him out. Recoup the draft choice when Grandy signs.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 24, 2013 10:49 am

Well, maybe this is a good thing. What do I know? Hope it is anyhow!

7 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 24, 2013 10:51 am

Joel Sherman suggests that Hiroki is still a possibility:


8 Sliced Bread   ~  Nov 24, 2013 11:29 am

I prefer McCann's left-sided pop to Russell's right-sidedness. This is a very nice pickup.

9 Matt Blankman   ~  Nov 24, 2013 12:39 pm

We need to stop overrating Russell Martin and his .700 OPS. Martin was a mistake because it left us with no catcher, but let's stop talking about him like he was Bill Dickey.

This move turns a huge negative into a positive. It also means they can let Gary Sanchez develop at his own pace and not rush him to the bigs. Maybe McCann can slot to 1B/DH in 3 years when hopefully Sanchez is ready.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Nov 24, 2013 12:51 pm

9) Good pernt.

11 OldYanksFan   ~  Nov 24, 2013 1:31 pm

(9,10) Gotta disagree.
WAR is not a great barometer for Catchers, because of rating Defense/Handling Pitchers. However, both Martin and McCann are know as high-end pitch framers, although Martin has better overall D.

To me (based on previous years), they are both 2.5(+/-) WAR players. I would give McCann the added advantage of being a LH Bat at the Stadium, and give him the overall advantage. However, I'm not sure there is much more than a 1 WAR difference. Considering their contracts, Martin would have been better for 2014, as there would be money left for an additional impact player.

If you believe the $189m is real, than this was a poor allocation of resources. Yes... McCann is a good player and adds a lot to the team. However, considering the $189, to be competitive, the following NEEDS to happen.

1) We absolutely need one #1/#2 SP... and maybe 2. We lost Hirok and Andy.
2) We need Teix, Jeter, Gardner and Sori to all have good years.
3) We need to cover at least 1 position with a kid, and get close-to-average production out of him.

And the ONLY position where we have a kid who MIGHT to close to league average is Catcher.

We have too many holes for $189m. Catcher should have been the last hole to fill.

We need Pitching, and we can't run Almonte/Ichiro/Wells in RF.

12 Matt Blankman   ~  Nov 24, 2013 2:35 pm

Interesting factoid from ESPN Stats & Info's Twitter feed:

Brian McCann: only player in MLB to hit at least 17 HR to right field in each of last 5 seasons. It's 314 feet to RF in Yankee Stadium

13 RIYank   ~  Nov 25, 2013 7:44 am

[11] I think this is quite wrong.
The available upgrade at C was a lot bigger than upgrades available at other positions, so it makes sense to spend the money there. Fangraphs estimates his worth at about five wins next year, which is enormous; and that doesn't include extra homers from his long lefty flies at YS.

The Yankees will still be able to sign Cano, plus a pitcher if there's one available.

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