LADY AT THE BAT: The Brian McCann Signing & What It Means For The Future Of Yankee Catching

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Brian McCann Signing & What It Means For The Future Of Yankee Catching

I have to admit that catching was the furthest thing from my mind this off-season when it came to the New York Yankees. I've been too busy thinking about pitching, Robinson Cano and about how the A-Rod mess will affect the payroll. So, I was a little surprised to find out that Brian McCann will be wearing pinstripes in 2014.

At first it was just plain surprise. Then it was pleasant surprise, once I read up on McCann: He's a good defensive catcher; he's a lefty pull-hitter with power; he's a warrior type (a la Paul O'Neill); and, he plays the game the right way. Best of all? He will only be 30 years old on Opening Day, which is infancy when it comes to the Yankees.

He will be the everyday catcher, which means there will be a fight for the backup job. There are rumors that Chris Stewart will be (or, has been) non-tendered. If that's true, it would leave a competition between Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine. It will be interesting to see how Cervelli performs without the help of PEDs, although he never knocked anyone's socks off with them. I've always thought of him as a better hitter than Romine and that Romine was better defensively. Now, with this more level playing field, Romine might have the advantage.

With McCann signed to (at least) a five-year deal, what happens to the guys behind Romine, those great catching prospects like Gary Sanchez? It's probably a waste of time to worry about them. After all, look at what happened to Jesus Montero. He was the Yankees' top catching prospect. The last we heard, the Mariners had optioned him to triple-A, where he then became injured, and then was suspended for PED use.

Not that Sanchez will be involved in this exact same turn of events.  It's just that you never know what will happen. Things have a way of working out. So, don't worry.

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