As Gary Sanchez has taken the Yankees and the baseball world by storm, one guy has kind of been lost in the shuffle.
It’s the guy whose job Sanchez essentially took, and that’s Brian McCann.
McCann has gone from everyday catcher to a part time DH that only catches CC Sabathia. But from his postgame interviews, when beat reporters are trying to pry some sort of controversy or juicy quote out of McCann by asking about Sanchez, he’s handled the very public job loss and partial shove out the door with class and grace. He deserves credit for being such a pro about it.
Remember Jorge Posada‘s final year when he was dropped to ninth in the lineup and then benched himself rather than play? He blamed his absence on a stiff back, but we all knew it was a lie. Posada made just one appearance behind the plate that year, and it was only out of necessity because the Yankees had run out of backstops. He was pissed off that his job was taken from him.
Posada was 39-years-old in his final season, and clearly couldn’t catch anymore. McCann, on the other hand, is still just 32-years-old and an able-bodied catcher. You can bet he’s annoyed he’s not out on the field everyday, and he could easily voice his displeasure, but he chooses not to. It speaks to the kind of veteran McCann is, and the kind of teammate he is.
Back in August, McCann admitted that Sanchez’s time has come.
“Listen,” McCann said. “He’s a stud. You know what I’m saying? It’s a time where he’s gonna play and he’s gonna play a lot.
“He’s a future All-Star, year in and year out. There’s not many guys walking around with his talent. It’s gonna be nice to see him grow into that player. … I consider him one of the better, if not best, young catchers since I’ve been in the big leagues.”
Pretty impressive comments and high praise for his replacement.
The Yankees were rumored to be shopping McCann just before the deadline, with the Braves being the most interested party. However, McCann has at least $34M remaining on his deal over the next two years, with a team/vesting option for 2019, so that could be an issue. The Yankees would want to unload his salary as they try to rebuild, so they’re expected to resume talks with organizations in the offseason.
I feel bad for McCann. It has to be tough to play a position all your life and then have it taken away from you, especially when you’re still relatively young. It seems as if Sanchez is the real deal and is here to stay. It would be nice if the Yankees gave McCann a shot on another team, where he can be the starting catcher. No one wants to be a part-time DH.
McCann’s attitude hasn’t changed. He’s remained the same intense leader who goes out and prepares to play without any nonsense. You’d have no idea he lost his job by the way he’s carried himself. He deserves some credit for it.