Yankees undermined by two former players in Astros sign-stealing scandal

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Brian McCann

Receiving almost no attention, two former players of the Bronx Bombers undermined the Yankees in a disgraceful manner by participating in the scheme or, at the very least, failing to intervene and prevent the sign-stealing when the clubs played each other at Minute Maid Park in 2017 during the regular-season and of course, seven arduous ALCS games.

Catcher, McCann began his major league career with the Atlanta Braves in June 2005. He remained with the Braves through the 2013 season. Between 2014 and 2016, he played for the Yankees.

He was traded to the Astros and played for them in 2017 and 2018. McCann finished his career back with the Braves in 2019.

Over a 15-year period, his batting average was .262. McCann hit 282 home runs and drove in 1,018 runs. He made the All-Star team seven times, received the Silver Slugger Award six times, and played on the 2017 World Series champion ‘Stros.

In November 2013, McCann signed a lucrative five-year, $85 million contract with the New York Yankees, with a vesting option for a sixth year. He led the Yankees in home runs (23) and RBIs (75) in 2014. He also hit well in 2015 (26 homers and 94 RBIs) and 2016 (20 homers and 58 RBIs). However, he had mediocre batting averages in all three years with the Yanks.

Gary Sanchez, an up and coming young stud, was ready to take his place behind the plate with a solid Austin Romine as the backup. Also, Carlos Beltran, a much better hitter than McCann, was going to become the new designated hitter — quite a coincidence, as you will see when you read on. McCann was therefore traded to Houston in November 2016.

Reports at the time indicated that McCann felt that he had been treated well professionally and with a great deal of respect by GM Brian Cashman. Moreover, manager Joe Girardi, once a catcher himself, applauded McCann’s play behind the plate and in the batter’s box.

In the 2017 ALCS against the Yankees, McCann hit RBI doubles in Games 6 and 7 against his former team to help the ‘Stros reach the World Series. McCann caught every inning of the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he went 5-for-25 with a pivotal home run in Game 5. The Astros defeated the sunshine boys in seven games.