Saturday, November 23, 2013

BREAKING: Yankees Sign Brian McCann (UPDATED)

Well I can't say I this coming so early.  Via Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees and free agent catcher Brian McCann have agreed to a 5-year/$85 million deal.  The deal also has a vesting option that could bring the total to 6 years and $100 million.

The report has been confirmed by Mark Feinsand, so it sounds like this is a done deal pending a physical.  McCann was one of the Yankees' major offseason targets from the beginning and he's an obvious great fit for the stadium, the team, and the pitching staff.  My FA profile on him can be found here.  Cash recently said the team was "absolutely" going to tender a contract offer to Cervelli this year, so now there's an overabundance of catching depth.  Expect Stewart to be non-tendered and maybe one of the Romine/Murphy tandem to be traded.

More details to come on this as they become available.  The first big offseason stone has been cast.  Let's see what chips fall as a result.

** UPDATE 6:34 PM- David Waldstein reporting that the deal is actually worth $82.5 million and still has not been finalized.  Stay tuned... **

** UPDATE 7:28 PM- Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees offered the $82.5 mil figure and McCann's side countered with 85 to make it a deal. **

** UPDATE 9:34 PM- Missed this earlier but via Jon Heyman, the contract comes with a full no-trade clause.  That and the vesting option make the deal a little more of a risk for the Yankees, but it's still a very good one for the best player available at the position. **

Here's An Idea, Trade Corban Joseph

Since the acquisition of Dean Anna a few days ago, there's been a lot of talk about what other roster moves might be coming.  I've seen more than a few people suggest trading Eduardo Nunez, but let's be realistic here.  Teams aren't lining up to trade for a utility infielder who can't field or hit, no matter what his age and upside may be.  Nunez's trade value has all but expired and if they aren't going to DFA him, the best thing the Yankees can do is hold onto him and hope he can provide some value in limited work.

A better idea if they're looking to move an infielder for something might be to trade Corban Joseph.  He was excommunicated from the 40-man roster to open up a spot for Anna, a pretty damning statement about where he stands in the organizational pecking order these days, but in terms of trade value he still has to have more than Nunez.

Saturday Morning Food For Thought

(Courtesy of the AP)

Alfonso Soriano Career BB Rate: 6.0%
Alfonso Soriano 2013 NYY BB Rate: 8.6%

Soriano Career K Rate: 21.2%
Soriano 2013 NYY K Rate: 27.6%

Soriano Career HR/FB Rate: 15.4%
Soriano 2013 NYY HR/FB Rate: 27.6%

The focus this offseason has been addressing the offensive weaknesses at catcher and in right field, and justifiably so.  There hasn't been a lot of talk about Alfonso Soriano and what he'll do as an encore to his dynamite 58 games in 2013.  While it's safe to assume he'll be an upgrade over Vernon Wells, let this serve as a reminder to not go overboard with expectations.  Soriano's BB rate in pinstripes last year was abnormally high, he struck out more often than he did when he was with the Cubs, and his frequency of home runs to fly balls hit was almost double his career average and unsustainably high.

Don't lose sight of the fact that Soriano is 36, turning 37 before the start of the 2014 season, and has numbers indicative of a player who outperformed his true skill level in his 58-game Yankee sample size and could be losing bat speed.  He'll contribute next year, but that contribution won't be close to the near 50-HR pace he was on after the trade.