After Russell Martin signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Francisco Cervelli was implicated in Biogeneis, the New York Yankees were left with Chris Stewart as their catcher in 2013. He was terrible. Though Austin Romine showed potential as the backup, the Yankees need to acquire a legitimate catcher this offseason. Brian McCann is the perfect choice.
He has the potential for huge offensive numbers in the Bronx and his left handed bat would be a perfect addition to the lineup (and much-needed if Robinson Cano signs elsewhere). He’s hit 20 home runs or more in seven of his nine years in the bigs, including six straight seasons dating back to 2008. Those totals would no doubt increase with Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right.
Defensively, too, McCann could have a tremendous impact. As of now it looks like the starting rotation will be composed of: C.C. Sabathia (a veteran who just had the worst year of his career), Ivan Nova (a youngster looking to make the jump to quality starter), and potentially David Phelps, Vidal Nuno, Adam Warren and/or David Huff (young prospects who have never spent an entire season in the starting rotation). Another potential arm is Japanese phenom Misahiro Tanaka (a 25 year old who will make his major league debut in 2014). The Yankees need a veteran catcher who can handle a pitching staff with a number of question marks. McCann is up to the task.
Furthermore, the seven-time All-Star brings intangible qualities. Twice in September, a batter showed up Atlanta’s starting pitcher, and twice McCann got in his face when he rounded third base and headed for home. McCann’s a gritty player who supports his teammates and has the kind of gamer attitude the Yankees lacked in 2013.
With other teams like the Texas Rangers in the market for a catcher, the Yankees will probably have to pay him around $13-14MM to sign him in free agency. He’ll be worth every penny.