The rise of Gary Sanchez has made Brian McCann expendable in the Bronx, so the Yankees are looking to move their catcher this offseason. To facilitate a trade, Brian Cashman sounds like he’s willing to add in a boatload of cash:
Sources: Yankees have expressed willingness to pay half of Brian McCann's remaining $34M, but want multiple top young players in return.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 11, 2016
That’s not quite the whole story. The $34 million is owed over the next two years, but McCann has a $15 million vesting option that triggers if he totals 1000 plate appearances over the next two years. That’s something the very durable catcher seems very likely to attain.
McCann has slipped significantly since his heyday with the Atlanta Braves. Still, the 32 year old hit .242/.335/.413 with 20 homers last year, well above average for a catcher. More of a concern is his defense behind the plate. McCann has never been praised for his framing and, in a league where those skills are increasingly valued, the Yankees may be overestimating what other clubs are willing to give up for a catcher who seems to be near his sell-by date.
Still, with catching being relatively scarce around the league, several teams could come calling, including the Minnesota Twins, the Los Angeles Angels, and the Texas Rangers. Whether they’d be willing to give up premium talent for the former All Star is another issue entirely, however.