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Yankees, Brian McCann agree to five-year, $85 million deal

Nov 23, 2013, 6:10 PM EDT

mccann getty Getty Images

UPDATE: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees and McCann have reached agreement on a deal, pending a physical.

McCann will get five years and $85 million with a vesting option for a sixth year which could bring the total to $100 million. His $17 million AAV (average annual value) is the highest-ever for a catcher signed via free agency. The Twins’ Joe Mauer has a $24 million AAV, but it was part of an extension.

The Yankees still have Robinson Cano to worry about and spots in the rotation to fill, so one wonders whether keeping their payroll $189 million next season is still a goal. Of course, the Yankees would get significant savings if A-Rod’s 211-game suspension is upheld, but we may not know the answer to that until after the holidays.

5:41 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal now reports that the Yankees and McCann are close to a five-year deal worth more than $80 million.

5:25 p.m. ET: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal hears that the Yankees and McCann remain in “serious” discussions, but that a deal is not yet close. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman is reporting the same.

5:17 p.m. ET: According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Brian McCann is on the verge of signing a long-term contract with the Yankees.

McCann was also being courted by the Rangers, but Grant was told by two sources that the free agent catcher has ruled them out as an option. While one source tells Grant that a deal with the Yankees is close, naturally McCann’s agent declined to confirm that anything is imminent.

Landing McCann would obviously be huge for the Yankees, who had a miserable .213/.289/.298 batting line from their catchers this past season after they let Russell Martin walk. Only the Blue Jays, Mariners, White Sox, and Marlins had a worse OPS than the Yankees (.587) at the position.

McCann returned from shoulder surgery to hit .256/.336/.461 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI over 102 games this year. He has amassed at least 20 home runs in each of the last six seasons and seven out of the last eight. He’ll turn 30 years old in February. The Braves extended a qualifying offer to McCann before he hit free agency, so the Yankees would have to surrender their first-round pick (No. 18 overall) in order to sign him.

  1. bgrillz - Nov 23, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    yeah, this should fix all their pitching issues…..

    • m3dman3 - Nov 23, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      He’s not a pitcher… fyi.

      • alan3008 - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:44 PM

        I think bgrillz was using sarcasm.

    • doctorfootball - Nov 24, 2013 at 3:25 AM

      What an idiotic comment. As if this precludes them from signing some pitchers. They absolutely needed a catcher and got one.

      • tuberippin - Nov 24, 2013 at 3:41 AM

        It doesn’t preclude them from doing that, but it does preclude them from signing McCann plus multiple mid-tier starting pitchers and re-sign Robinson Cano and still remain under the $189mil threshold, which they’ve been trumpeting as their goal.

  2. uyf1950 - Nov 23, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    Saltalamacchia must be licking his chops seeing what Ruiz and now McCann have agreed to. Muy guess is he’s looking at $10 to $13MM per over at least 4 years with possibly a 5th year vesting opting.

  3. cackalackyank - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:01 PM

    OK. Very nice start. Now we need a couple guys to start, a bat and a resolve to the Cano/Rod situation.

    • m3dman3 - Nov 23, 2013 at 9:11 PM

      Tanaka, Santana, Beltran. Let Cano walk Jay Z is a cancer and we can just put a fill in there. Trade for Brandon Phillips would be ideal, but highly unlikely.

      • tuberippin - Nov 24, 2013 at 3:42 AM

        LOL, Ervin Santana. You wanna pay him $100mil to watch him allow a ton of home runs out of New Yankee Stadium?

  4. officialgame - Nov 23, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Dumb.

    • hammertoe11 - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

      I agree with you. Slugging few balls around and running around 4 bases. Doesn’t call for 85 million dollars. But stupid fans pays his wages when they go these games.

      • evanpenn - Nov 24, 2013 at 2:24 AM

        The pitiful, bumbling, aging, slow-motion-train-wreck Yankees, gotta love em’

  5. alan3008 - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    This is just normal, as the Yankees try to buy another World Series.
    If you can’t beat them, buy them. The Yankees are going to have a $300 million dollar salary level per year, way over the cap.
    Sad. Baseball is broken.

    • tuberippin - Nov 24, 2013 at 3:43 AM

      1) There’s no salary cap in baseball.
      2) The Yankees might push a $200mil payroll, but that remains to be seen. $300mil is outlandish unless they bring in a ton of high-salary players.
      3) Your logic is broken.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 24, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      This is just normal, as the Yankees try to buy another World Series.

      2013 WS Champs had:
      FA: C, 1b, SS, RF, LF, DH, P (Lackey), P (Uehara), P (Dempster)
      Farm: 2b, 3b, CF, Ps (Lester, Buchholz, Dubront, Morales)
      Trades: P (Peavy), P (Bailey), P (Breslow)

      That’s 19/25 roster spots, and 9/19 are from FA. And yet people still want to complain that only the Yanks (or Yanks and Dodgers) are buying their way to the WS.

  6. alan3008 - Nov 23, 2013 at 11:49 PM

    It’s okay for the Braves though. They just move Gattis to catcher, and put a much better outfielder in left.

    • paperlions - Nov 24, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      The problem is that Gattis is a poor defensive catcher and isn’t actually a good hitter either. Last year was probably his high water mark as now MLB pitchers have film on him and can exploit his weaknesses. Gattis was great in April and May, but after pitchers had seen him, he really struggled the rest of the year with an OBP around .250 (which is actually what most scouts predicted would happen).

  7. sdeberg - Nov 24, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    As much as I’ve criticized my friends who are Dodgers fans…where are the Dodgers now? I’m a life long Yankees fan – but the Dodgers couldn’t buy their way into the World Series, and they’ve spent millions on their players. Contracts should be written from the actual PERFORMANCE perspective. This person signs for this much – and has absolutely NO incentive to produce? Where the F do I sign?

  8. ejannetta - Nov 24, 2013 at 1:36 AM

    I will take McCann any day over Salty of the Red Sox. ..Salty has the worst percentage of any
    catcher in the majors in throwing out runners stealing 2nd.

  9. 2077james - Nov 24, 2013 at 5:03 AM

    Another reason to dislike the Yankees.

  10. pjmarn6 - Nov 25, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    Kevin S It is called economics, gauging, bad judgment, stupidity and don’t cry at the end of the season when he turns out to be worthless. For every hit he is getting paid 4 times the average salary of a school teacher.
    Go for it!

  11. ryanrockzzz - Nov 25, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Good signing by the Yanks. It won’t win them a WS on though, especially if they lose Cano.

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