New York Yankees Rumors
1:20pm: Joel Sherman of the New York Post has details on the contract (Twitter links). McCann will earn $17MM per season from 2014-18. His 2019 option will vest if he totals 1,000 PAs from 2017-18, catches 90 games in 2018 and is not on the disabled list at the end of the 2018 season. Should his option vest, McCann has the right to void it and hit the open market.
10:30am: The Yankees' decision to let Russell Martin depart as a free agent and use in-house options at catcher last offseason proved to be costly, but general manager Brian Cashman has made sure to upgrade that hole in his lineup in the biggest possible way. The Yankees officially announced today that they have signed Brian McCann to a five-year contract. Reportedly worth $85MM, the contract also contains a sixth-year vesting option that can push the total value to an even $100MM. McCann, who is represented by B.B. Abbott of Jet Sports Management, will also reportedly receive a full no-trade clause.
As Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports notes in his article on the deal, the average yearly salary McCann will receive, $17MM, is the highest ever given to a catcher in free agency. While Joe Mauer's average yearly rate of $24MM remains the record for catchers overall, the Twins have said that Mauer will transition to first base on a full-time basis beginning next season, meaning McCann is set to become the game's highest-paid backstop.
McCann posted a typically strong offensive season in 2013, hitting .256/.336/.461 in 402 plate appearances, but he's likely to see his power rise significantly with the presence of the short porch in Yankee Stadium's right field. McCann's defense is also rated highly by various metrics. While his 2013 total of 102 games in 2013 represented a career-low for a full season, the 29-year-old has usually been a durable catcher. Switching to the AL should also allow him to transition to DH as he ages.
McCann was this offseason's top free agent catcher and one of the top free agents overall. While the Yankees had options such as Chris Stewart and Austin Romine in the mix for their 2014 backstop job, the signing represents a significant upgrade. The Yanks forfeit the 18th overall pick in the June draft in signing McCann, while the Braves, the catcher's former team, gain a pick after the first round.
The Rangers and the Red Sox were also known to be targeting McCann. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is now likely the best remaining free agent option behind the plate.
Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News was the first to report that the Yankees and McCann were close to a deal. Rosenthal first reported that the agreement was in place and was also the first to report the terms (Twitter links). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports was the first to report the deal's no-trade clause.
Steve Adams contributed to this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Major League clubs have until 11pm CT tonight to tender contracts to players for the 2014 season. We'll run down the list of American League non-tenders here. Remember that you can track all of the action using MLBTR's Non-Tender tracker, and we offer a full list of non-tender candidates as well. Also of use will be our Arbitration Eligibles series, which includes Matt Swartz's projected 2014 salaries for all arbitration eligible players.
- The Orioles announced they've non-tendered outfielder Jason Pridie and minor league starter Eddie Gamboa.
- The Rays will non-tender reliever Wesley Wright, tweets Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune.
- The Red Sox announced that they have non-tendered outfielder Ryan Kalish, Mike Salk of WEEI.com tweets.
- The White Sox will not tender a contract to pitcher Dylan Axelrod, tweets Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune.
- The Angels will non-tender pitcher Jerome Williams, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times. The club will also non-tender righty Tommy Hanson and third baseman Chris Nelson, tweets DiGiovanna. J.C. Gutierrez will also be non-tendered, tweets Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com, though that seemed a given since that he had already been designated for assignment.
- The Indians have non-tendered outfielder Matt Carson, pitcher Tyler Cloyd, and catcher Lou Marson, the club announced.
- The Rays are non-tendering outfielder Sam Fuld, a source tells Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Fuld, who will turn 32 in a few weeks, could be a lefty-swinging bench piece for another club, though he slashed only .199/.270/.267 last year in 200 plate appearances for Tampa.
- GM Brian Cashman says that the Yankees will non-tender infielder Jayson Nix, tweets Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. The 31-year-old veteran appeared in 87 games for New York last season, putting up a .236/.308/.311 line in 303 plate appearances. The club will also non-tender reliever Matt Daley and infielder David Adams. New York confirmed the moves via press release.
- The Royals announced that they have non-tendered second baseman Chris Getz. The 30-year-old Getz has tried to hold down Kansas City's keystone spot for several years now but produced just a .246/.299/.314 batting line from 2012-13. Swartz had pegged Getz for a $1.3MM salary in 2014.
The Yankees are closing in on a seven-year deal with Jacoby Ellsbury, according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. "It could happen," someone familiar with the talks told Heyman. It is believed the deal would top Carl Crawford's $142MM, seven-year deal.
ESPN's Jayson Stark reported on Monday that talks were moving faster than expected for the Scott Boras client. Boras is notorious for waiting out the market to find the right deal as he did with Prince Fielder (signed in late January) and Michael Bourn (February).
Ellsbury offers more pop than the typical center fielder, with a career slugging percentage of .439 and isolated power of .141. While his power is more of the doubles and triples variety, which is aided by his speed, he did hit 32 home runs in his stellar 2011 campaign. In that year, Ellsbury led all of baseball with 9.1 wins above replacement, finished second in the AL MVP voting, won a Silver Slugger and a Gold Glove, and made the All-Star team.
The 30-year-old has also consistently posted above average UZR and DRS numbers in center field. While he has come back to earth somewhat since '11, he checked in with 5.8 wins above replacement in 2013, which is second only to Robinson Cano among free agents.
The Yankees will not offer star free agent second baseman Robinson Cano a deal for over $200MM, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. With a current offer of seven years and $160MM already on the table, the club plans to stand on that figure and does not foresee wiggle room of greater than about $15MM, says Passan.
As Passan goes on to explain, the major question hanging over negotiations is whether any other clubs will jump in at or above the current Yankee offer. He mentions the Nationals and Mariners as the two teams most likely to jump in as serious bidders for Cano.
New York could be exerting pressure on Cano by beginning its spending and pursuing other free agents like Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo. Ultimately, says Passan, "unless something drastic happens" the club will not sign Cano for anything approaching his current demands.
4:25pm: Carig tweets that Kuroda has been mulling the offer over, but a decision isn't expected until after next week's Winter Meetings.
3:21pm: The Yankees have an offer on the table to right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, reports Andrew Marchand of ESPNNewYork.com. Marchand reports that the offer is believed to be in the $15-16MM range. Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News adds that the Yankees have had the offer on the table for quite some time, and the team never expected an answer until at least December (Twitter link). Marc Carig of Newsday tweets that it's been about a month since the offer was extended.
Kuroda, 38, pitched to a 3.31 ERA with 6.7 K/9, 2.1 BB/9 and a 46.6 percent ground-ball rate in 201 1/3 innings for the the Yankees in 2013. However, he also faded down the stretch, posting a 6.56 ERA in 46 2/3 innings in his final eight starts of the season. Kuroda has already rejected a $14.1MM qualifying offer from the Yankees and is said to be entertaining the thought of returning to Japan or looking for an opportunity in Southern California, where his family currently lives.
3:27pm: Ryan will receive $2MM in 2014 and 2015, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Yankees hold a $2MM club option for 2016 that becomes a $1MM player option if it is declined, he adds.
DEC. 2. 1:24pm: The Yankees have announced Ryan's deal, noting that the option for 2016 is a mutual option.
NOV. 27, 5:22pm: Ryan's deal is now official, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). Ryan gets a two-year, $5MM deal with a player option for 2016 that, along with incentives, can boost the total value to $10MM over three seasons.
NOV. 18, 3:50pm: ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that Ryan's deal is worth something in the range of $2MM.
Ryan, who is represented by the Wasserman Media Group, batted .197/.255/.273 between the Mariners and Yankees last season but is widely considered to be one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. The Fielding Bible's Defensive Runs Saved pegged him at six runs above average, while UZR/150 liked him for +3.2 runs. While both numbers are strong, they're the two lowest marks he's posted in a full season of shortstop work, so there's reason to expect improvement in 2014.
In parts of seven big league seasons between the Cardinals, Mariners and Yankees, Ryan is a .237/.299/.320 hitter. He will turn 32 during Spring Training next season and, as Heyman notes, serve as an insurance policy for the Yankees in the event that Derek Jeter falls victim to injuries once again in 2014.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post first reported that the Yankees were "close" to a deal with Ryan last week, and Peter Gammons of the MLB Network reported that the two sides were merely waiting for Ryan to pass a physical following minor surgery.
9:25am: The Pirates have acquired Stewart in exchange for a player to be named later, the teams announced via press release.
8:56am: The Pirates will acquire catcher Chris Stewart from the Yankees, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). ESPN's Buster Olney was the first to report that a trade was in the works (Twitter link). Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported prior to the agreement that the Yankees would likely receive cash considerations or a player to be named later in the deal (also on Twitter).
Stewart, 32 in February, was a non-tender candidate after hitting .211/.293/.272 in a career-high 340 plate appearances with the Yankees in 2013. However, he's regarded as a superior defensive catcher to the Pirates' Michael McKenry, who is a non-tender candidate himself after missing the final two months of the 2013 campaign due to knee surgery.
Stewart projects to earn $1MM in arbitration, per MLBTR's Matt Swartz, while McKenry's projection sits at $900K. Either backup will likely face competition in the form of Tony Sanchez, who offers more with the bat at a slightly lower price. Pittsburgh could also carry all three into Spring Training, where the trio would compete for the right to play second fiddle to primary catcher Russell Martin.
Tomorrow at 10:59pm CT marks the deadline for teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Most arbitration-eligible players will be tendered, since players typically receive less in the arbitration system than they would be able to get in free agency. But a few dozen will likely be non-tendered, expanding the free-agent pool.
Clearly, that pool won't include any current stars. But it's likely a couple non-tenders will be contributors in 2014. Ben Nicholson-Smith of SportsNet.ca tweets a reminder that last year's crop of non-tenders included outfielder Nate Schierholtz, who ended up having a solid season with the Cubs, and reliever Brian Wilson. The list also included infielder Mark Reynolds, who landed a $6MM contract with the Indians, and Manny Parra, who posted a solid season out of the Reds' bullpen.
MLBTR will be updated with non-tender information throughout the day tomorrow. For more, you can check out MLBTR's list of non-tender candidates, as well as our arbitration tracker and list of tenders and non-tenders. The latter two resources will be updated as news rolls in. In the meantime, here are a couple notes on what to expect tomorrow.
- One player who could be non-tendered is Daric Barton, who is the Athletics' longest-tenured player, as MLB.com's Jane Lee points out. Barton arrived in Oakland's 2004 trade of Mark Mulder. He never really became the high-OBP first baseman the A's were likely hoping he'd be, with only one strong full-time season (2010) to his credit, but the A's did get Dan Haren in that trade, so it turned out well for them anyway. Barton hit .269/.350/.375 in limited duty with the A's in 2013, spending most of the season at Triple-A Sacramento.
- The Yankees could non-tender catcher Chris Stewart and infielder Jayson Nix, writes MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. The Yanks' signings of Brian McCann and Brendan Ryan don't bode well for Stewart or Nix, particularly given that GM Brian Cashman has said he will tender catcher Francisco Cervelli.
- The Tigers' only non-tender candidate is utilityman Don Kelly, writes MLB.com's Jason Beck. Working in Kelly's favor are his low salary (MLBTR's projects he'll make $900K) and the fact that, even if they tender him a contract, the Tigers would be able to release him in spring training and pay only a fraction of his deal. It's currently unclear where Kelly will fit on the Tigers' roster next year. Kelly hit .222/.309/.343 in part-time duty for the Tigers last season.
John Tomase of the Boston Herald looks at the Red Sox's top three needs this winter. Aside from finding a replacement for Jacoby Ellsbury and a solution to their catching vacancy, the Red Sox need to make sure they have protection for David Ortiz in the lineup. If Mike Napoli returns, he could easily fill the No. 4 or No. 5 hole. If not, it's possible that Xander Bogaerts could be the man to take over. More from the AL East..
- With catcher Jose Molina all but officially announced as re-signed and the bullpen reconstruction expected to be ongoing into January, the Rays presumably will turn their attention to first base, writes Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. Topkin notes that all of the Rays' potential trade targets are still out there, including Ike Davis of the Mets and Texas' Mitch Moreland.
- The Red Sox and the Cardinals are staying flexible this offseason, writes Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. The Cards probably won't re-sign Carlos Beltran while Boston seems likely to lose at least three of Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia this winter. As CEO Larry Lucchino put it, it's all about not falling "in love" with your veterans.
- Relief pitcher Oh Seung-hwan of the KBO Samsung Lions decided to move to Japan’s Hanshin Tigers on a record-breaking contract, his agency told The Korea Herald. Seung-hwan, who boasts a 94-96 MPH fastball, had drawn interest from the Yankees.
- Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com looks at the candidates to back up Matt Wieters in the wake of the Orioles' acquisition of Johnny Monell.
11:00pm: Cano asked for a nine-year deal at $28MM per year, reports ESPN's Buster Olney, a $252MM total that would match Alex Rodriguez's first free agent contract. He also wants a tenth year vesting option at $29MM. Olney says the Yankees are in the $170MM range, leaving a gap of around $80MM.
8:18pm: Robinson Cano requested a nine-year deal in the $250-$260MM range in his most recent offer to the Yankees, a source tells Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. The offer came in a meeting last week.
The Yankees have reportedly offered Cano a deal in the range of seven years and $168MM, which Davidoff notes would still make the second baseman among the highest-paid players in baseball. In addition, a second source says the much-discussed 10-year, $310MM offer floated by Cano's camp hasn't been in play since Cano became a free agent. Nevertheless, the two sides presently appear to be approximately $100MM apart. The Yankees are scheduled to meet again with Cano, who is represented by Jay-Z and CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen, on Monday.
Davidoff writes that the Yankees maintain they won't wait for Cano as they hold discussions with free agents such as Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew. The team also remains interested in Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. If the Yankees hit their budget limit without signing Cano, club officials say, they'll either move on or force Cano to agree to a much smaller deal than what's now under discussion.
Other potential destinations include the Tigers, the Mariners, the Rangers and the Nationals, and the Mets have met with Cano's representatives, Davidoff writes. However, he adds that no teams have publicly indicated significant interest in the infielder.