The Yankees have said time and time again that it was likely Brian McCann was going to be with the Bronx Bombers in 2017.
However, the Yankees do have a problem: they have too many catchers on the roster and not enough room for all of them. The Yankees don’t really want to move McCann as he has some value to the ball club, but McCann also has value on the trade market. But would McCann, who has a full-no trade clause, accept a deal anywhere?
He might accept a trade with the Braves…at least, that’s what Braves fans believe. The Braves are opening a new stadium in 2017 and they believe what better way to christen it than to have McCann, who started his career in Atlanta, rejoin the team. While it would be tempting to see what McCann would bring back on the trade market, a MLB scout warned trying to trade McCann, especially since this year’s free agent market isn’t up to par and the depth is unpredictable.
“I would be very careful of trading McCann,’’ a big league scout warned the New York Post. “The depth at that position is very lean.’’
The Yankees would still have Gary Sanchez as the number one catcher, and McCann could find himself either as the DH or the first baseman on the days Sanchez is behind the plate. But the team also has Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka waiting in the wings, and after the good season Higashioka had in Triple-A, he earned himself a spot on the 40-man roster to protect himself from the Rule-5 draft.
If McCann isn’t traded and is on the roster in February, then it’s likely Higashioka will start the season in Triple-A as the starting catcher for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
“I do think there is a chance,’’ Higashioka said about hopefully catching for the Yankees at some point. “I am being realistic about it. I know things need to happen. But the organization has liked me enough to keep me around, even with a crowded roster.’’