|Brian McCann will have to get used to seeing his face again.|
The Yankees and the free agent catcher have reportedly agreed to a five-year, $75MM deal that could reach $100MM if incentives are met. The deal makes me wonder what the future holds for prospects like Gary Sanchez, J.R. Murphy, and the other highly touted catchers in the Yankees' system. The Texas Rangers had been thought to be the leading candidate for McCann's services, though that was before picking up much of Prince Fielder's contract.
McCann, who will have to remove his trademark beard, will turn 30 during Spring Training. He's coming off a pair of years for the Atlanta Braves in which he was banged up and was limited to 121 and 102 games respectively. He hasn't appeared in more than 128 games since 2010. What he has done is average 21 home runs over the last six seasons, but has seen his OPS drop due to a lack of walks and a lower batting average.
The seven time All-Star and five time Silver Slugger Award winner is clearly an upgrade over the current Yankees catching situation, but I would not have gone more than three years. With a dearth of quality free agent catchers on the market, the Yankees did not want to wait for their prospects to develop or go through another year with a Chris Stewart-type catcher behind home plate.
Defensively, McCann has thrown 24% of would-be base stealers in his career. He should be happy with the short porch in right field and should challenge his career high of 24 home runs. McCann has an .873 lifetime mark with runners in scoring position.
I like the idea of signing McCann, I just don't like the idea of a five year contract.