Yankees catcher Brian McCann has cleared waivers and is now eligible for an August trade, reports FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman, who notes that there’s no word a potential deal is in the works. However, he also points out that the Braves – McCann’s previous employer – engaged in talks with the Yankees before this past Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline and like the idea of the 32-year-old returning to Atlanta to help guide a young team.
In addition to the Braves, the Rangers also showed pre-deadline interest in McCann, according to Heyman. Of course, they ultimately solved their backstop issues by acquiring Jonathan Lucroy from the Brewers. Notably, McCann has a full no-trade clause, so he has the right to veto any potential deal. For their part, the Yankees aren’t inclined to give away McCann and the $34MM remaining on the five-year, $85MM deal they signed him to before the 2014 season.
New York still regards McCann as one of the game’s most productive catchers, per Joel Sherman of the New York Post, though his offensive prowess from Atlanta hasn’t quite transferred to the Bronx. Since he first donned a Yankees uniform, McCann has hit .233/.310/.421 – good for a league-average wRC+ of 100 – while slugging 64 home runs in 1,414 plate appearances. Defensively, McCann has mostly earned strong pitch-framing grades from StatCorner and Baseball Prospectus.
As a full-time member of the Braves from 2006-13, McCann piled up seven All-Star nods, slashed .277/.350/.477 with 171 homers in 4,150 PAs, and was worth 27.7 fWAR. If the Braves don’t reacquire McCann or add another starting-caliber backstop between now and next season, they could once again hand the reins to veteran Tyler Flowers. The 30-year-old acquitted himself well over the season’s first few months before suffering a broken hand in July. He’s owed just $3MM next season and his contract includes a $4MM club option for 2018.