Monday, August 15, 2016

So Brian McCann Cleared Waivers, Now What?

The waiver wire trade deadline is set for August 31st and unlike the August 1st trading deadline this deadline is whole lot more complicated with a whole lot more moving parts. First a player must clear revocable waivers where he can be claimed, and revoked or brought back off waivers, before he can be traded and Brian McCann did just that this week. Will the Yankees trade him? Honestly, and I’ve written about this already this season, I don’t think that they should but for argument’s sake let’s say that they do. Here are a few teams presumably still looking for catching help that could bite on the right deal or a deal where the Yankees ate some salary.

Five teams immediately come to mind when I think of potential landing spots for McCann because these are the five teams that were most notably looking for catching help before the August 1st trading deadline but did not pull off a deal for one. That list includes the New York Mets, the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Houston Astros and the Cleveland Indians. All these teams are playoff contenders with the exception of the Braves of course but Atlanta could want McCann for the same reasons I laid out over the weekend, you keep a veteran catcher during a rebuild to work with your young pitchers and to build relationships and confidence.

The Mets currently employ Travis d’Arnaud at the position but judging by their attempt to acquire Jonathan Lucroy before the deadline you can see the team is not sold on him. The problem is the Mets system is pretty weak by all accounts, especially with MLB ready or close to MLB ready prospects, while the team is likely to also want the Yankees to eat some salary in any potential deal. The Yankees needs either salary relief and less prospects or good prospects for McCann and I can’t see the Mets giving the Bombers either unfortunately.

The Atlanta Braves are in the same boat as the Mets when it comes to the ability and willingness to eat salary. The Braves talked to the Yankees prior to the deadline about McCann and basically refused to take on the salary of their former catcher thus closing the door on any potential deal. The Braves have the prospects to get this done but the difference here is the Braves don’t have to get it done, and that will affect what they are willing to and will ultimately pay if a deal were to take place. I consider Atlanta to be a Plan B, Plan C or lower if the Yankees are simply motivated to move him just to move him.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are listed here because the Los Angeles Dodgers are always listed as interested for every available free agent and trade target. They are greedy like that and I can appreciate that personally. Anyway, the Dodgers do have some genuine interest in improving their team and especially improving their catching situation as they find themselves in a dog fight with the San Francisco Giants atop the NL West Division race. McCann makes their catching situation better and their offense much better almost immediately if a deal is made, and a deal could be made due to the fact that the Dodgers can afford to absorb the salary and they also have enough in their farm system to make the Yankees happy. Just no Yasiel Puig, please?

While the Dodgers are chasing down the Giants the Astros are going in the opposite direction in both the division standings and the Wild Card standings as well. Currently at the catcher position the Astros have a DH acting as a part-time catcher in Evan Gattis and a defensive-minded and defense-only catcher in Jason Castro so the need for an offensive catcher is extremely apparent. McCann would be a huge upgrade and a shot in the arm for Astros playoff push and Houston could absolutely afford to take the hit both in terms of salary and in terms of prospects.

Finally you have the Cleveland Indians, the Yankees couldn’t pillage their farm system one more time this season. Could they? The Brewers agreed to trade Jonathan Lucroy to the Indians before Lucroy refused to waive his no-trade clause and Cleveland never acquired a catcher before the deadline leaving these two teams once again a match for a potential trade. Brian Cashman has to be familiar with the Indians farm system and the Yankees seem to be motivated to move him so this could also be a potential landing spot for the Yankees catcher.

The Yankees have at least five potential landing spots for McCann now that he has cleared revocable waivers. McCann would obviously have to accept any trade because of his no-trade clause but the Yankees have options here. Does that necessarily mean a trade will happen? Lord no. That’s a lot of money left on the table and nothing is ever easy when a full no-trade clause is involved but the options are there and that is at least encouraging. 


  1. I'm indifferent to a trade here. The Yankees finally have an opening for another fulltime DH. They could easily carry 3 catchers. Especially since McCann and Romine can play 1b. But McCann would probably waive his no trade clause. He wants to catch, and I see him as the odd man out. If the right deal came along, I say move him, but don't do it simply as a salary dump.

    1. I agree Jeff. I don't want him traded, he is one of my favorite Yankees and as a Braves player one of the players I screamed the most for in free agency, but if they traded him I wouldn't rant and rave about it either. Especially since Gary Sanchez has shown he belongs.

    2. I think it really comes down to what the Yankees would get in return. I mean, don't trade McCann just to get rid of him and make room for Sanchez and Romine. Trade him to get something that could help the MLB club.

      Catchers tend to be the most intelligent, and best informed, players on a team. Taking that, as well as McCann's experience in MLB, means he can be incredibly valuable to the team outside of what he does on the field.


Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)