While the Yankees continue to ponder their stance leading up to Monday’s trade deadline, the team has been “gauging” interest in catcher Brian McCann, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. After trading Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs earlier this week and considering deals involving some of their starters, the Yankees have several intriguing pieces to offer teams.
While the Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy and Padres’ Derek Norris are the two most prominent receivers on the trading block, McCann may soon join them.
McCann, 32, is in the midst of a down year this season, slashing just 0.235/0.334/0.430 but with 15 homers and 41 runs batted in. The former longtime Atlanta Brave is on pace to hit at least 20 HR and drive in at least 57 runs for the ninth straight season.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) July 30, 2016
While his power production in New York has remained stellar, McCann hit a combined 0.232/0.303/0.421 with 49 HR and 169 RBIs. With backup Austin Romine enjoying a productive season and Gary Sanchez, a top prospect in the organization ready at Triple-A, McCann is somewhat of an expandable piece.
Following an All-Star campaign with the Braves in 2013, McCann hit the free agent market for the first time. He signed a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees, ending the Georgia native’s nine-year run with his hometown Braves. Now, he’s declined in both his defense and contact ability, making the $17 million the next two seasons.
However, there is still believed to be enough interest in the veteran to extract some value. Heyman noted that the Rangers and Braves have both spoken to the Yankees about a possible McCann trade. The Braves, despite being out of contention this year, will move to a new ballpark next season so bringing back a productive fan favorite should help boost attendance. The Rangers lost Prince Fielder for the season to neck surgery, leaving a hole in the lineup.
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) July 30, 2016
There are several hurdles that could prevent a deal.
The Braves reportedly want a significant portion of McCann’s contract paid in a potential trade. Joel Sherman of the New York Post notes that McCann has a full no-trade clause, meaning that he would have to approve any trade. However, he still lives in Atlanta during the offseason. Also, the Braves want the Yankees to pay a significant portion of McCann’s remaining two years, $34 million; something they don’t want to do.
“Braves value him as roughly a $10 million-to-$12 million player annually and want the Yankees to eat about $5 million annually. The Yankees’ current position is they are not eating any money on contracts.”
Finally, the Yankees would like real prospects in return for McCann while the Braves want to offer a “minimum package.”
Sherman notes that the Braves have expressed interest in Sanchez on several occasions as the Yankees possess a surplus of catching. The Braves have a surplus of pitching, something the Yankees have wanted to address for a while.
The Yankees are reportedly looking to deal starter Ivan Nova, a free agent after 2016 who is not eligible for qualifying offer; meaning, the Yankees could try to get something for him now rather than risk losing him for nothing in the offseason.
Young, controllable starters Michael Pineda and Nathan Eovaldi have been mentioned as possible trade candidates, given their talent and team-friendly contracts. Carlos Beltran, the Yankees’ best hitter this season, could be one of the best rental bats on the market.
If the Yankees decide to sell, McCann and the rest of the Yankees’ roster becomes fair game.
[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]