New York Yankees Editorial: Brian McCann’s contract finally paying off


Following missing the playoffs in 2013, the New York Yankees went on a spending spree, as they did the last time they missed the playoffs, 2008, hoping it would produce similar results, as they won a World Series in 2009.

Of the four big acquisitions made (Masahiro Tanaka, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran), two, McCann and Beltran, received the “bust” label after just their first season with the club.  McCann’s below-average slash-line of .232/.286/.406 led many to believe the Yankees would regret signing the catcher to a five-year, $85-million contract.

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A few months into his contract, McCann’s former hitting coach with the Atlanta Braves, Terry Pendleton, even speculated that McCann, who was drafted by, and spent his whole career up-until that point playing for, his hometown Braves, couldn’t handle playing in New York:

"New York is not Brian.  That’s my opinion.  I knew if he chose New York, there would be more than he expected or knew about.  He’ll never be comfortable with that.  If I had to choose where he went, nothing against the Yankees, they’re one of the best organizations around, but I think he’d be more comfortable in Texas."

McCann, a seven-time National League All-Star, could be headed to his first All-Star appearance in the American League.  While he won’t be starting, as he is over six million votes behind Salvador Perez, as it seems that the entire Kansas City Royals offense will be in Cincinnati, his slash-line of .266/.330/.468 combined with his nine home runs and 40 RBI’s entering Wednesday, could very well lead to McCann being selected as a reserve.

While making his first All-Star team with the Yankees would be great, what is even better is that his rebound from a tough 2014 has helped the Yankees remain at or near the top of the AL East Standings the entire season.  Yankees manager Joe Girardi feels that playing at Yankee Stadium has helped McCann, who has been the best hitter at the Stadium this season:

"It’s one of the big reasons we went and got him, because we thought his swing was built for this ballpark.  It’s shown up."

Of McCann’s nine home runs, seven have come at Yankee Stadium, and of those seven, all have went out to right-field.  McCann feels that taking advantage of the short porch is something that is great for his success:

"It sets up good for my swing.  It’s nice hitting here.  When you’re hitting top of the rotation starters, that’s what good teams do."

If McCann can continue to produce at the plate, while providing stellar defense and remaining one of the best catchers in baseball at handling a pitching staff, his contract will be viewed in a far more positive light by this time next season.  More importantly, however, the Yankees chances of making their first postseason since 2012 will be significantly improved.

Next: New York Yankees Editorial: Loss by Masahiro Tanaka gives Yankees rough lesson

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