Yankees Rumors: Astros Prospects In Return for Brian McCann

Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports /

The Yankees have already stated that while they won’t simply give Brian McCann away, they would be enticed by an offer containing multiple prospects or one “super” prospect.

As the free agent market begins to take shape, the Yankees now have an idea of what 12-year vet Brian McCann could bring back in a trade this winter. The first shoe dropped on Friday afternoon when the Toronto Blue Jays struck a deal with 33-year-old DH Kendrys Morales.

Though Morales is a switch hitter with the ability to hit the ball to all fields, his defensive limitations are a big reason why he was only able to secure a three-year, $33M deal.

When comparing Morales to McCann — the latter holds much more value in a multitude of designations. For one, he’s only signed for two more seasons. Yes, those years are at $17M a piece, but the seven-time All-Star is still an incredibly productive defensive catcher — who if utilized correctly between the field and designated hitter, should be able to pop between 20-25 home runs — even as he nears the same age as Morales.

So it genuinely makes sense that the Yankees be picky on the type of offer they would accept for their projected starting DH against righties/backup catcher.

Earlier this week the Yanks were momentarily linked to Morales — but in the grand scheme of things, unless you’re going to deal McCann for a piece or two that can really benefit this club in say two years time, why make a trade simply for the sake of making a trade?

The organization has had a plethora of moving parts over the past six months. A lot can be said for camaraderie and familiarity on the overall benefit of clubhouse demeanor. Parts of McCann’s game can’t be valued by batting average and defensive WAR, but on paper, he’s still a better play than a guy like Morales.

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On the flip side of things — the Yankees admitted that if a club were to approach them with a package containing multiple top 30 prospects or one “super” prospect, then they would be willing to approach McCann’s reps and state their case (by now we know McCann has a full no-trade clause but might be willing to waive it for a chance to play closer to his Atlanta home — play, being the operative word.)

Taking a gander at the Astros’ MLB.com top 30 prospect list, I can’t see them dealing anyone from their top 5. But starting at No. 6 is where things get interesting. This is where Daz Cameron is ranked. The son of former big leaguer Mike Cameron, Daz’s game doesn’t excite scouts quite as much as it did when he was in high school (a whole year and a half ago), but they still say he profiles as a solid major leaguer (like his old man) because he possesses plus tools across the board.

With the ability to drive the ball to all fields, Cameron will need to seriously hit the weight room to add strength if he ever wants to hit double-digit home runs. Encompassing great instincts to swipe bags with ease, Cameron’s most valuable tool is his ability to cover center field like a gazelle.

Scouts say he has the ability to win multiple Gold Gloves — which would come in handy at Yankee Stadium, especially since some in baseball circles suggest Clint Frazier projects as more of a left fielder. The Astros currently have two other outfielders that grade out higher than Cameron, hence a reason why the club might entertain dealing him.

Another name to keep an eye on is No. 8 prospect Colin Moran. While he didn’t exactly leave much of an impression in nine Major League games this season, Moran (the nephew of former big leaguer B.J. Surhoff) is a pure line drive hitter that can drive in runs in bunches.

Moran’s biggest negatives are that he’s not a great baserunner and has yet to consistently exert himself physically on the diamond — two things that will need to be corrected should the 24-year-old ever hope to make an impact on a Major League roster.

Otherwise, a sure set of hands and a great throwing arm might entice the Yankees, should they really consider the idea of trading their own third base prospect Miguel Andujar, which I reported on just the other day. Moran looks to be expendable since the Astros grade rookie Alex Bregman and A.J. Reed higher on the prospect pecking order.

However, if the Yankees are holding out hope of a blue chip prospect from a club like the Astros, which reports state would need to be a high ceiling pitcher, perhaps the Yankees would be wise to set their sights on No. 7 prospect Albert Abreu (the organizations 4th ranked pitcher).

The 21-year-old right hander’s fastball regularly sits between 93-97mph. Mix in a pair of power breaking balls, and a changeup, and it’s easy to see why the Astros made Abreu the eight highest international bonus baby ($185,000) back in 2013.

Next: It's All About the Bullpen

Abreu has an effortless delivery that is only made more effective by his quick arm action — yet he’s far from polished, as his overall command and consistency to pitch to contact still needs refinement.