The New York Yankees will have some stiff competition in the American League East this year. As a result of finishing third in the division last season, and missing the postseason for only the second time in 19 years, the Yankees have gone out this offseason, and signed a barrage of players that will all help to upgrade the roster. We will take a look at one of their acquisitions, catcher, Brian McCann, and see where he ranks, and how he compares to the rest of the catchers in the division.
5. Jose Lobaton: Jose Lobaton will be entering 2014 as the starting catcher for the Tampa Bay Rays. While he didn’t put up spectacular numbers last season, finishing with 7 homers and 32 RBI in 100 games for the Rays, at 29-years old, he is another piece to the youth movement the Rays are and have been trying to build for the last few years, while still contending year in and year out. Lobaton finds himself #5 on our list.
4. Dioner Navarro: Navarro will be the starting catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays heading into 2014, after signing a two-year deal this offseason. Navarro has been somewhat of a journeyman, playing for 6 different teams in his 9-year career, even briefly playing for the Yankees at one point as a rookie in 2004. While Navarro may not be a spectacular option, he put up solid numbers for the Chicago Cubs last season, compiling a total of 13 home runs and 34 RBI in 89 games. If he can give the Blue Jays some of that, they will accept it, considering the way things have gone for them since about ’93.
3. A.J. Pierzynski: After choosing not to bring back catcher Jared Saltalamacchia, who ended up signing with the Miami Marlins in free agency, the Boston Red Sox, coming off their third World Series win in the last decade, signed veteran A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year deal. Pierzynski has definitely been around the block, entering his 16th season in the big leagues. While he may not be the player he once was, he was still able to put up solid numbers for the Texas Rangers last season, finishing with 17 homers and 70 RBI. He is still more than reliable behind the plate, and will give the Red Sox even more veteran leadership, making him the third best catcher in the American League East.
2. Matt Wieters: Despite an overall disappointing 2013 season for a Baltimore Orioles team coming off it’s first postseason berth in 15 years, Matt Wieters certainly didn’t disappoint, finishing the year with 22 homers and 79 RBI. Overall, a stable offensive and defensive presence, any team would be lucky to have him, and Wieters finds himself #2 on the list.
1. Brian McCann: The Yankees acquired McCann this offseason by signing him to a 5-year $85 million deal to become their starting catcher. If you watched the Yankees at all last season, it was obvious catcher was the position they needed an upgrade at the most. The Yankees went with a combination of Chris Stewart, and Austin Romine at catcher for the better part of the 2013 season. McCann is without a doubt a huge upgrade. To date, he is a 7-time All-Star, and a 5-time Silver Slugger award winner. Known for his power, defensive presence behind the plate, as well as the fiery and competitive manner in which he plays the game, McCann will unquestionably be a big asset to this Yankee team, and finds himself #1 on the list.
There you have it. These are all the starting catchers in the AL East, ranked from worst to first. The Yankees have done a good job of upgrading their roster this season, and have upgraded the catcher position right to the top of the division, and possibly the team right around the top of the league…