I just wonder if a 5-year deal (with an option on six) for a 30-year-old catcher is a smart long-range strategy, and - frankly - if there will ever even be a long range strategy for the Yankees. It costs us our first round draft pick, and under the new rules, first-round picks are more important than ever. (Think: NFL.) Once again, the Yankees are paying for all the good years that a fellow had in another city. And once again, we're about to give up on our own young players, rather than watch them evolve into major leaguers.
Do the math: Cashman must now trade either Frankie Cervelli, Austin Romine or JR Murphy. It will probably be Romine, a serviceable young catcher who improved dramatically last season after a terrible start. Nevertheless, we will deal him at the low-point of his value. Whatever good years Romine has - I think he'll be a decent starting catcher - they will happen in another city. And I'm sorry, but there is plenty of historical evidence to suggest that we will not get fair value in the trade.
Like crack addicts, the Yankees are going straight to the pipe - looking for a quick high in 2014. Brian McCann is a lugnut, a good catcher, no doubt. But he caught only 102 games last year, hit only 20 home runs. The Yankees cheerleaders today are saying he'll hit 30 in Yankee Stadium. Oh? Since when does a team get to project such an improvement in a player coming to New York? Quite often, the arrival in Gotham means a tough first year, the hassles of transition. But not with this Yankee courtier crowd.
If you want to be on Brian Cashman's Christmas list, this is a slam dunk. (Except for Joel Sherman, who in my mind is head-and-shoulders above the rest in critical thinking and guts.) Clip and save this, because if McCann tanks - they will all later claim to have had reservations about the signing. Here's what they are saying:
John Harper, Daily News: "... from a Yankee perspective, there's nothing not to like about the deal."
Newsday: "He handled their young pitching staff really well," one Yankees insider said of McCann's work with the Braves. "I like his makeup, the way he carries himself."
New York Times: "A left-handed hitter with pull power, McCann should be a perfect fit for Yankee Stadium, with its short right-field fence. He is also considered a team leader with excellent credentials for handling and sticking up for his pitchers."