For nearly a decade, Brian McCann has been one of the top catchers in all of baseball. He finally cashed in on his elite status at the position, agreeing to a deal with the New York Yankees, the team announced.
On Thursday, Dec. 5, the Yankees conducted a formal press conference to introduce McCann. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News provided a photo of McCann with his wife and Yankees manager Joe Girardi:
Joe Girardi, Brian and Ashley McCann at the press conference. pic.twitter.com/YqTsVVx4uq— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 5, 2013
The Yankees continued with a statement from general manager Brian Cashman, Girardi and McCann himself:
“We are very excited to welcome Brian McCann and his family to the Pinstripes.” - #Yankees GM Brian Cashman.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 5, 2013
“We think we have the next great Yankee catcher.” - #Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Brian McCann.— New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 5, 2013
“To say this is one of the best days of my life would be an understatement.” – Opening statement from No. 34, Brian McCann. #Yankees— New York Yankees (@Yankees) December 5, 2013
Feinsand continued with a statement from McCann discussing Derek Jeter's presence on the team:
McCann: "This is Derek Jeter's team. I'm a huge fan of Derek Jeter … I'm excited to meet the guys and to fall in line."— Mark Feinsand (@FeinsandNYDN) December 5, 2013
#Yankees Brian McCann,"I'm gonna be a piece of this puzzle that's gonna help this organization win, hopefully multiple championships."— Steve Berthiaume (@BertDbacks) December 5, 2013
Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports was first to report McCann signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees:
McCann is in agreement with #Yankees, pending physical.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2013
Source: McCann deal with #Yankees is 5/85 with sixth-year vesting option that could bring it to 6/100.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2013
CBS' Jon Heyman also added this:
Full no-trade for mccann in yankee deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) November 23, 2013
McCann certainly earned his big payday.
The slugging catcher has hit at least 18 home runs per season in the past eight years and at least 20 dingers in each of the past six seasons. Injuries have derailed him somewhat the past two seasons, causing him to dip below 70 RBI per game in consecutive seasons. He still had a .461 slugging percentage this year.
Add in McCann's presence in the clubhouse—and the fact that he turns just 30 in February and easily could transition to first base in his later years—and it isn't hard to see why he earned a big payday.
With the Braves, McCann reached the postseason four times, though he really struggled this season, failing to register a single hit in Atlanta's 3-1 series loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He's never advanced past the National League division series in his career.
Individually, he's won plenty of hardware. He's played in seven All-Star games, winning the MVP in the 2010 game. He's also won five Silver Slugger awards at catcher, winning the award four straight times between 2008 and 2011.
The catcher brings a much-needed bat to the Yankees lineup, giving them even more depth. It also helps them brace for the potential loss of star second baseman Robinson Cano to free agency, giving them another potent bat capable of filling any offensive void.
However, McCann's injury history hints that there's quite a bit of risk in signing the talented catcher. He's started more than 140 games just twice in his career, and those past injuries are sure to catch up to his production at some point.
In the end, though, McCann's reward more than outweighs the risk, and the Yankees will be thrilled to have him in the lineup.