Report: Yankees sign catcher Brian McCann

Brian McCann
Brian McCann has a career .277 batting average with 176 home runs.
Credit: Getty Images

The Yankees may have finally found a permanent replacement for Jorge Posada behind the plate.

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Saturday evening the Yankees have agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal with Brian McCann. Heyman reports the deal also includes a full no-trade clause and sixth-year mutual option at $15 million.

McCann, who spent the first nine years of his career with the Braves, was the top free agent catcher on the free agent market this offseason. He is a seven-time All Star and five-time Silver Slugger Award winner as the best hitting catcher.

He batted .256 with a .338 on-base percentage and 20 home runs for the Braves last season.

McCann will be 30 years old when the 2014 season begins.

The Yankees have jumped from catcher to catcher since removing Posada from behind the plate in 2010. He was moved to designated hitter in 2011, his final year before retirement, to make room for veteran Russell Martin. But Martin played just two years with New York before the team felt he was asking for too much money. Martin batted just .211 in his final season, though he did hit 21 home runs.

The team moved on to a rotating group of catchers in 2013, none particularly successful. Francisco Cervelli was supposed to be the main catcher, but he was suspended for the use of performance-enhancing drugs and struggled even when he was eligible to play.

Chris Stewart ended up playing in 109 games and batted just .211 with four homers. Austin Romine, who just turned 25 on Friday, played in 60 games but has not lived up to his once-lofty prospect status.

There have been questions about how much the Yankees were going to spend in the offseason. They repeatedly professed a desire to stay under the luxury tax threshold of $189 million. It’s unlikely they’ll re-sign free agents Phil Hughes or Joba Chamberlain, which frees up some money. The retirements of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte do as well.

The team continues to negotiate with second baseman Robinson Cano, while outfielder Curtis Granderson also remains a free agent. And should Alex Rodriguez be suspended for the season, a decision he continues to appeal, the $27.5 million he is due would also come off the books.

McCann reportedly also received interested from the Rangers and Red Sox.

Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.


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