The Yankees need a catcher, and Brian McCann is the cream of the crop when it comes to free-agent backstops. It only makes sense that the two sides have talked.
According to Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger, the Yankees have had preliminary discussions with McCann, who is considered the top catcher on the open market.
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman reportedly declined to comment specifically on contacting players, but said that he expects the club to be busy in free agency.
“We will certainly explore the options on the catching market,” Cashman reportedly said. “But we do have catchers.”
The Yankees’ cast of catchers currently consists of Chris Stewart, Austin Romine, Francisco Cervelli and J.R. Murphy. None carry the offensive potential of McCann, who has five career Silver Sluggers to his credit.
“We definitely have catchers that can, without a doubt, control the defensive side of the game,” Cashman reportedly said. “The upside of the offensive side is obviously something we can do better on.”
McCann, who turns 30 in February, is one of the most productive catchers in all of baseball. The seven-time All-Star hit .256 with 20 homers and 57 RBIs in 102 regular-season games in 2013, which was a down year by his standards, largely because of his shoulder surgery. McCann’s 162-game averages, according to Baseball-Reference, include 26 homers and 97 RBIs.
The cost to acquire McCann will likely be steep. One executive reportedly predicted that McCann will receive a six-year, $100 million contract, while another estimates that a deal will top $120 million.