The Yankees should hold on to Brian McCann

It may seem like Brian McCann is the odd man out in the Bronx. He has failed to bat .250 in each of his three seasons in pinstripes. He is now 32 years old and has lost the starting catcher job to Gary Sanchez.  Given the fact that he is a proven veteran who still has value as a starting catcher for many other teams, you would figure the Yankees should trade him.
Photo Credit: Steven Ryan | Getty Images

However, this is not the case. With the departure of Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and Alex Rodriguez, McCann is one of the few veterans remaining in this Yankee locker room. In today’s game, it’s tough to win with a team of just young players. McCann needs to stay in order to be a leader and a mentor for Sanchez, Aaron Judge, and the group of young players the Yankees have. He is still a left handed power bat that benefits from the Yankee Stadium’s right field short porch; he will likely fit in as the DH and the backup catcher/first baseman for this squad.

If the Yankees were to trade McCann, it would likely just be a salary dump. He is still owed a total of $49 million through the 2019 season. Not only would the Yankees be forced to eat money, they probably wouldn’t get much in return for a potential trade. The truth is, while even though they aren’t exactly thrilled about having to pay this contract, the Yankees can still afford to pay Brian McCann. There is no need to get rid of him.

The only team that has reportedly been talking to the Yankees about a McCann trade has been the Atlanta Braves. McCann spent eight seasons with Atlanta before signing with New York. Rumors say that the Braves are potentially offering either Ender Inciarte or Mike Foltinewicz. Either of these two players would be worth trading Brian McCann for; however, it is unclear whether these rumors have any legs to them.

Keeping McCann as the second catcher opens the door for the Yankees to trade Austin Romine. In recent years, Brian Cashman has done well in finding good deals for catchers. In 2012, he traded soon to be failed prospect Jesus Montero to Seattle for Michael Pineda. Say what you want about Pineda’s inconsistency and failure to stay healthy, but he is still good enough to make an MLB starting rotation. The alternative, Montero, is currently in AAA facing a 50 game suspension. In 2014, he shipped Francisco Cervelli to Pittsburgh for Justin Wilson. After one good season, Wilson was then flipped to Detroit for Luis Cessa and Chad Green. Both pitchers looked relatively solid in their opportunities to be back end starters. Then, another backup catcher, Jon Ryan Murphy, found himself in Minnesota in exchange for Aaron Hicks. While Hicks hasn’t turned out so great, he still has potential to be a serviceable outfielder. I fully expect Cashman to find a similar market for Austin Romine. He is coming off a good season and can be a good fit with many teams seeking a backup catcher.

All these trades involving McCann are purely hypothetical, as he has the power to veto any deal due to this full no trade clause. Paying him his full contract to have him contribute as the DH is better than paying half his contract to have him play for another team.

Article by: Jeremy Siegel
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