One name that was tossed around a bit at the trade deadline was New York Yankees‘ catcher Brian McCann.
Discussions regarding the 2017 roster are about to begin, and McCann’s future will once again be bounced around the front office and throughout the media. It became obvious who the No. 1 catcher in New York is with Gary Sanchez taking over the Bronx over the last eight weeks of the season. McCann’s playing time was reduced, even more so than when Yankees manager Joe Girardi started playing Austin Romine against left-handed pitchers.
McCann hit .242/.335/.413 for the Yankees in 2016 with 20 home-runs and 58 RBI. If he ends up staying with the Yankees, the team could use him as a first baseman, catcher, or designated hitter in 2017.
During the 2016 season, the Yankees spoke to the Braves in regards to striking a deal around McCann, but discussions did not get far, apparently due to a starting pitcher in Atlanta.
As reported by New York Post writer George A. King III, who cited industry sources, the Yankees’ fondness for Atlanta’s right-handed pitcher Mike Foltynewicz was what stalled conversations. With the Braves also needing to improve starting pitching, King indicates the Yankees insistence on Foltynewicz in the deal “likely killed more serious talks.”
Foltynewicz showed some improvement in 2016. He went 9-5, posting a 4.31 ERA in 123.1 innings of work while striking out 111 batters against 35 walks. The 25-year-old is 13-12 with a 4.92 ERA in the majors.
While the inclusion of Foltynewicz stalled talks during the season, a future deal can’t necessarily be ruled out.
The team will be opening their new ballpark this coming Spring. The Braves did not hide the fact they would like to bring McCann back to Atlanta. McCann played for the Braves from 2005-2013, becoming a seven-time All-Star.
McCann is owed $34 million over the next two seasons and has a full no-trade clause. This means the Yankees would likely have to eat a portion of his contract to get a deal done. He would also have to agree to the deal. The Braves are confident he would waive the clause for a return to Atlanta.
Besides the Braves, the Washington Nationals will more than likely be in the market for a catcher. Wilson Ramos suffered a serious knee injury late in 2016, like causing him to miss majority 2017 season.