The Astros have acquired catcher Brian McCann and cash from the Yankees for right-handed pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman, according to a team announcement.
As reported by ESPN’s Buster Olney, Houston will receive $11 million from the Yankees in the deal, which means they will pay $23 million of the $34 million owed to McCann over the next two years. McCann’s 5-year, $85 million deal will expire after the 2018 season, though it includes a $15 million vesting option for 2019.
McCann, 32, was a likely trade candidate this winter after the emergence of Gary Sanchez, who will now serve as the Yankees’ full-time catcher. McCann will split time behind the plate in Houston with Evan Gattis, replacing free agent Jason Castro.
McCann hit .242/.335/.413 with 20 home runs in his third and final season with New York, and drew strong interest from the Braves and Nationals since being made available. Atlanta is known to be looking for a catcher this winter, and was considering both McCann and Castro as options.
The Astros have now made two significant moves this week, adding McCann and free-agent starter Charlie Morton, and are likely to keep adding. According to Yahoo! Sports’ Jeff Passan, the team is still looking for lineup upgrades, and could finalize a deal with a free agent soon. Houston has been linked to sluggers Carlos Beltran and Edwin Encarnacion on the free-agent market.
New York is also trying to sign Beltran, who was traded from the Yankees to the Rangers at the trade deadline. Trading McCann allows room in the team’s lineup for a reunion with Beltran, who has also been linked to the Blue Jays and Red Sox.
Abreu, 21, is the prize of the deal for the Yankees after being ranked as the Astros’ 7th-best prospect by MLB Pipeline. The Dominican right-hander posted a 3.72 ERA in 24 games (16 starts) with Single-A Quad Cities and High-A Lancaster, and is touted as a high-ceiling starter with a plus fastball and slider.
Guzman, 20, did not rank among Houston’s top thirty prospects on MLB.com’s list. He posted a 4.05 ERA in 13 appearances (eight starts) at Low-A last year.