Even if the Braves want him, the Yankees should still keep McCann


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.’’

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9 Responses to Even if the Braves want him, the Yankees should still keep McCann

  1. I see no real need for him. His bat is not all that good. He has hit just .235/.313/.418 in three years as a Yankee. If he isn’t a catcher anymore than that's not impressive. If he's just catcher insurance in case Romine or Sanchez get hurt than they might as well trade him if they can get somebody to pay his salary because $34 million over the next two years is quite a lot of money that would be better off spent else where.

    I’m not even hopeful that they could get impact prospects for him. Maybe they could get a bench player, reliever, or back-end starter for him. I suppose they could pay the $34 million to get a better player back. It would have to be the right player, though, because the Yankees are probably still in rebuild-mode.

  2. Just to give some context — McCann hit .242/.335/.413 in 2016. Out of catchers with at least 300 plate appearances — he’s 9th with a 103 wRC+ which is decent considering he’s not a liability defensively. If you move him to DH — that 103 wRC+ falls to 14th. And if you move him to 1st base — that number drops to 28th. So his value to the team is as a catcher. Teams would likely want him, but he’s owed $34 million over two years. It’s going to be tough to get something good back for him because of that. It’ll come down to how much of his salary the Yankees are willing to eat.

  3. enter42 says:

    I love Brian McCann but his place on next year's roster doesn't make much sense. You clearly have your catching tandem in Sanchez and Romine, plus Tony Pena is around to mentor Sanchez. It might be different if Girardi believed in McCann as a guy who can hit both righties and lefties….then he could slot in as your full time DH, but that doesn't seem to be the case. One thing I will say is never underestimate the value of a proven, veteran vocal leader. Are Gardner, Ellsbury and Headley those kind of guys? Even if they aren't the leaders that McCann is, that more than likely doesn't justify holding a roster spot for McCann. Very happy he got his 20th HR on the final day of the season to keep his streak alive. He swallowed his pride and did everything the Yanks asked of him this season. No Yankees fan should have any ill will toward this guy.

  4. Terry says:

    I think it's crazy to trade him before getting another power bat. If you look at the league right now, it's a home run hitting league.If you look at the 4 teams left, they are HR hitting teams.If you look at the teams in our division, they are HR hitting teams and we finished 4th because we don't have a lot of power.To get a small market team to trade with, we'd probably have to eat roughly half his salary.Then because they would be taking on salary, we'd get only a mid-tier prospect in return.You're basically giving away a 20hr guy. If you want to purge salary, do it with Ells,Gardy, Headley.Low power guys.I don't see a return equaling what we'll give , unless they get a bat first

    • enter42 says:

      I totally agree with you regarding needing power…Yanks are so lacking in that department. But if Girardi has made up his mind that McCann can no longer hit lefties then they need to get a full time, run producing DH who will get 600 ABs not 350ABs. Encarnacion!

      • Celerino says:

        No way to a 34 year old who is going to be able to demand a four or five year deal. They stopped making that mistake. We're getting the next four years, not the last four years. There is plenty of cheap power available. Trade McCann. Sign a Pedro Alvarez type.

    • A .413 slugging percentage is easily replaceable. In fact, it's not impressive at all for a DH or a 1st baseman.

  5. Shaneo says:

    Keep mccann as a catcher. Move sanchez to DH to save his body. Two words, Joe Mauer, dont want Sanchez to end up like that

  6. Eric says:

    I DO NOT love Brian McCann and would move him in a heartbeat. Getting good prospects back is not my concern but shedding his salary is! Every time he comes to the plate I have to hear about the "shift" and am so tired of it. Any good GM should be able to replace his bat. As far as the last comment regarding Sanchez is you have got to be kidding. He is so valuable defensively and that is where he should be for about 140 games.

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