Yankees Shopping McCann, Braves and Rangers Interested


The New York Yankees are reportedly shopping catcher Brian McCann before the August 1 trade deadline.

While it remains a long-shot, the New York Yankees are at least exploring the possibility of trading starting catcher Brian McCann before Monday’s deadline according to Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball.

Heyman names the Texas Rangers and Atlanta Braves as two clubs who have discussed the possibility of acquiring the veteran backstop with the Yankees.

It’s no surprise that the Rangers would at least kick the tires on McCann. They are struggling to hold off the surging Houston Astros in the AL West, and catcher is one of the areas in their lineup where they need a clear upgrade.

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The Rangers current starting catcher Robinson Chirinos is hitting .196/.272/.480 (91 wRC+) in 114 PA. While the power is nice, McCann would provide the team with a clear upgrade.

Texas reportedly would have a hard time fitting McCann’s $17 million annual salary onto its payroll, so the Yankees might have to kick in some cash if they want to get a deal done. It might be worth it if the Rangers are willing to sweeten the return, but McCann is a valuable asset who is only being paid what he’s worth. This shouldn’t be a pure salary dump.

McCann’s former club is a much less obvious fit, but it’s been hard to follow the Braves train of thought with many of their moves over the past few years. Atlanta reportedly thinks their former star will help put butts in seats when they open their new stadium. He could also be a good mentor for their collection of exciting young pitchers.

As with Texas, however, the Braves would also want the Yankees to pick up a large chunk of McCann’s salary to facilitate a move. Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution points out that it might make more sense for the Braves to sign free agents Matt Wieters or Wilson Ramos following the season and not have to surrender any prospects.

Moving Brian McCann would be a very bold move by Yankees GM Brian Cashman. He is basically their only proven power bat under contract for 2017. Trading him would be a strong show of faith in top prospect Gary Sanchez, who has been mashing with Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre, but remains unproven at the major league level.

Next: Yankees and Indians Discussing Multiple Trade Options

There are a number of other reasons this seems unlikely to get done. McCann has a full no-trade, although he would presumably waive it to return to his home in Atlanta (where he and his family still live.

According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees reportedly do not want to eat any salary and want real prospects in return, while the Braves aren’t offering much and would need financial relief. Unless someone blinks, McCann seems likely to stay in the Bronx at least for now.