Saturday, November 23, 2013

Hot Stove Update: Yankees Sign Brian McCann

This does not really come as a surprise.  The Yankees have struggled at catcher since the decline and end of Jorge Posada's career.  Last year the position was a veritable black hole.  I mean, my God!  The Yankees, yes the Yankees, were reduced to signing not just one, but two Giants castoff reserve catchers!  So, the Yankees needed a catcher and needed one badly.  The Yankees also play in a stadium that heavily favors LH batters.  Brian McCann bats LH.  Match made in Heaven!

The deal is for 5 years/$85 M with a vesting option for an additional year at $15 M.  Much as I like McCann as a player, I am breathing a sigh of relief that it isn't the Giants who are going to be on the hook for that contract.  As we have pointed out many times, catching is a tough gig.  Catchers tend to not have long peaks to their careers.  Brian McCann has never played another position besides catcher, although I suppose he is a good enough hitter to be a DH.  He will be entering his age 30 season.  He will be 34 yo in the final season of the contract not counting the option year.  

OK, 34 is not impossibly old, even for a catcher, but take a look at the number of games McCann has played over the last 4 seasons:  

2010  143
2011  128
2012  121
2013  102

Steamer Projection System thinks he will play 113 games in 2014.  As he ages, you would expect that number to continue to get smaller rather than bigger.  Yeah, Brian McCann has been beat up in his career.  Excellent hitter though, and Yankee Stadium is tailor made for him.  Tough to shake the feeling that this might be one more bad contract on the Yankees' books before it's done.

Another interesting angle:  The Yankees have been working toward getting under the luxury tax level for several years now.  Does this signal a reversal of that strategy?  How will it affect the Robinson Cano negotiations? 


  1. This to me is a good signing for the Yankees, for all the reasons you stated. The back end may not be so pretty, but they rarely are. For a team with money like the Yanks, in a park built for lefties, and a division full of big offenses, McCann should be a big help. But, like you say, this deal is a much better fit for them than it would have been for us. For the $85M it took to get him, I'd spend it on a guy like Pence who plays every day and does a little bit of everything. And no way would I have kicked the draft pick for McCann... The only qualifying offer player I'd even consider is Ellsbury. For the talent, not the price.

  2. Yanks can also add Beltran and Infante contract for perhaps 20% less than hypothetical 200 million dollar deal Cano may get. That savings should help them make the winning offer on Tanaka. Yankees would be in good shape without Cano. And there in a good position to throw money around. Can't say the same for the Giants.

    1. I'd say the Giants have already thrown a lot of money around. You might not like what they did with it, but they've thrown it around. You also don't know that they are done.

    2. So far they've thrown money around at about the same rate the owners are used to throwing it around. Steady payroll increase. Not too conservative, not with reckless abandon.

      The Pence deal may look great after all the dust settles. Choo and Ellsbury probably both clear 100 mil. Pence will play more games and drive in more runs over the lives of their respective contracts.

      The Lincecum deal definitely has the odor of money being thrown around in the vicinity of a furnace. Several mil will have found its way to the flames.

      I'm surprised Lopez didn't maneuver for a bigger AAV raise. I would think he could've asked for Affeldt's rate. But in the end, he's still a loogy.

      It's hard to care about the money in Hudson's case. He's such a bulldog and I love his game. He deserves one last good contract in a pitcher's park. He's more of a back of the rotation pitcher, like Lincecum, when what the Giants really need is a 2/3 caliber arm.

      Every team that signs free agent/s will take a hit or get burnt to some degree. Unless they are really lucky or surprisingly savvy or have the comforts of a well stocked farm system. The Giants seem like they are suspended between the realms of competing and rebuilding. Some might call this no-man's land.

      So DrB, what is your prediction for remaining items on Sabean's winter to do list?

    3. I think Sabes signs another SP(most likely not Ryan Vogelsong) and gives up on trying to upgrade on a Blanco Perez platoon. Look for a dumpster dive OF on a minor league deal.

  3. Tanka...............................................................................! I know it will never happen, but a guy can dream.


    1. Sabes said they have moved on from Tanaka. When he says something like that, you can pretty much bet on it.