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new-york-yankees-logoThe Yankees will probably be the Yankees again this year.

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Yankees are set to sign free agent catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal. The deal contains a vesting option that could push it to six years and $100 million. The other major suitor for McCann was the Rangers, and it’s fair to wonder whether the addition of expensive lefty pop in the form of Prince Fielder changed their thinking on McCann. (They’ll still likely add a bat, though.) McCann reportedly gets a full no-trade clause, and he costs the Yankees their first rounder to sign.

The Cubs were rumored to be in on top catchers for about ten seconds at the outset of the offseason, but those rumors never made much sense, and I generally poo’d on them when given the chance. McCann, for all his strengths, is a soon-to-be 30-year-old catcher who has played in just 223 games over the last two years. His numbers – still great for a catcher – are clearly trending downward. The deal is not outrageous in this market, but it would have been shock for any NL team to commit five years to McCann, let alone the Cubs. It was pretty much a lock that McCann was going to the AL, where he can occasionally DH (more as he gets older). As always, the AL has an unfair advantage.

McCann’s signing impacts the Yankees’ offseason plan a bit, given that, unless Alex Rodriguez is definitely suspended, the Yankees are running out of room under the $189 million luxury tax cap for maneuvering. They’ve still got a rotation spot or two to fill, they’ve got to save space to try and land Masahiro Tanaka, and they might still want to try and re-sign Robinson Cano. Without an ARod suspension, that can’t all happen. Maybe they know something we don’t.

I imagine the financial implications for the Yankees – and, thus, the implications for the rest of the market – will play out over the next few days.

  • Oswego Chris

    17M per year for McCann…

    Keep it.

    • MichiganGoat

      Now JayZ can’t allow Cano to sign for anything less than 25M a year as he should be the ceiling for FA. It’s going to be a very strange winter.

  • Abe Froman

    Really curious about the Tanaka implications. Anyone know where the Yankees payroll is currently at with and without ARod’s salary in 2014?

  • Blublud

    Wow. 17 mil per for McCann. This makes me wonder why we didn’t keep Soriano. Soriano is all of a sudden a bargain at 18 mil for next year, especially considering we are still paying 13 mil. I would much rather have Castillo at $500,000, as I think he is the better overall player.

    • Josh

      I was saying this last year. He was our best hitter and he was worth $13 mil easily. I’m glad he gets to finish his career on a contender. He took a lot of crap from Cubs fans and never wained. Heis contract was a little bit ahead of his time but Soriano get 8/$160 easy today if he were to sign that deal in todays market

  • Oswego Chris

    Present day free-agency is a lot like the end of rotisserie draft, where all of the good guys have been kept or are already gone…and the few guys out there are way overpaid…very few teams can pay, very limited supply

    • Blublud

      I can only think of one of the top tier FA that will be worth his contract and that’s Choo. I would sign Choo, and go after Tanaka. But at these prices, after that, I’ll just go with the current plan.

      • MichiganGoat

        If I’m Choo I’m looking for 5/100M as the starting point. McCann might be the floor of free agency this year.

        • Blublud

          Considering that I think Choo is the best FA on the market, I would do 5/100 for Choo without a 2nd thought.

  • Oswego Chris

    Last year WAR…Castillo 4.4, McCann 2.2…if you are into that sort of thing

    • Blublud

      Now this is a good use for WAR, but I don’t think WAR is even needed to see that Castillo is better. I never heard McCann called a good Defensive backstop. Yankees consistently make stupid decisions. They could cut their payroll by 30%-40% and still be competitive with smarter decisions. I do not consider Cashman a good GM at all.

      • Hee Seop Chode

        Two thought here. Tough to make a case that Yankees make “stupid decisions” when they go to the playoffs about 90% of the time. Also, it’s a unique market in that stars sell and there’s near infinite opportunity to increase tv revenue int NYC. To that extent, Cashman has publicly stated that certain decisions are influenced or made by ownership.

  • Abe Froman

    So that whole building a solid core of prospect talent and eventually signing them to win-win, early extensions is starting to make sense…or you may prefer to let the rage of consistent losing wash over the rational side of your consciousness and shit.

  • MattRM

    God OH GOD do I hope Arod wins his suit!!!!!!! They deserve having to pay him in the first place for making such a huge contract!!!!

    MLB is literally ignorant for rewarding baseball teams for signing players they knew to be juiceing.

    In my opinion if AROD loses his case the Yankees should have to pay his contract to charity and it should still count against their payroll. That way Arod doesn’t win and neither to the idiot Yankees for signing him to such a huge deal!

    • Blublud

      I agree 100%. I want ARod gone for life, but the Yankees should still be on the hook for that money.

      • Senor Cub

        Can’t have it both ways. Why would you want A-Rod gone? Not your headache, him being with the NYY suits most fans just right. It’s their headache, they should suffer with him until they buy out his contract or see it through.

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      YES. All the way. He was a confirmed juicer. Not only did they give him that contract, but it came midway through his ridiculous previous deal!

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Wow. This year could be as ridiculous as that offseason when Mike Hampton got that mega deal from the Rockies. Pardon my language, but the market for top tier free agents is absolutely fucked.

    The Yankees MUST know that ARod will be suspended.

    Some of these teams never learn.

    • MattRM

      The more I think about this the more PISSED I get!!!!! They are literally REWARDED FOR THIS!!!!!! Number one they KNEW they would be holding their nads in their hands once he got to this age, but now they are rewarded by getting out of his contract like it didn’t happen!!!

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t start seeing teams actually pushing roids on players!!!! THink about it!!! For five years or so you get the benefit of their production and then when they start to age you can just tell MLB they were juicing!

      OMG I should so be an exec. I’ve just come up with the new strategy for baseball!!! I should right a book and call it JUICEBALL!!!! How to win the game the WRONG way but still come up aces!!!!

      • TK

        I know you were just kidding, but you megntioned a scenario that really intrigues me . . . Knowledge of, or even promotion of PEDs, and then dropping dimes when its beneficial to do so — by a FRONT OFFICE. Im so very curious now as to whether the Yankees’ FO had anything to do with bringing the biogenesis/ARod connection to light. You know the Steinbrenners are sly cats with lots of $$$ & reach. Im sure they knew all along that he was on something from somewhere (exactly how much they knew…?…Im guessing plenty). It could be entirely possible that THEY made all this happen bc he was playing poorly. Aroid might not be too far off, in that regard.

  • MattRM

    I did just check out Castillo’s stats as well….I’m kind of interested in what made him a 4 WAR player. I mean yes he had a .350 OBP but that can’t make up for the low slugging a OPS……

    That said his D is good….other than his framing, but still he looked like a 2WAR player to me! Certainly not someone worth 20 million…

    • Blublud

      I don’t go by those stupid WAR value calculations for salaries, and neither does anyone in the MLB. If WAR was going to be used, that’s what it should be used for, but not at $6 mil per. There is no way Mike Trout is worth $45 mil per, I don’t care if he is the greatest ball player ever. I believe Barney was a $24 million player last year. Wasn’t his WAR like 4 something. If you calculated all the WAR in baseball, there is no way it adds up to 6 mil per year, even with all the negative WAR players.

      • MichiganGoat

        Yeah Barney had a 4+ bWAR in 2012 primarily because of his defensive (nearly 3 bWAR) this year he had a negative bWAR because his offense was negative and his defense bWAR wasn’t as large. I do have issues with defensive WAR because I’m not sure one player is worth 4 WAR defensively.

      • Kyle

        I’m not a fan of $/WAR because of its many, many limitations, but if anything it undervalues a guy like Trout.

        • Blublud

          Kyle, no way. I think Trout is just as good as the next man, but if anything, WAR completely overvalues a guy like Trout, or other stars. I don’t like WAR, because it says that Trout 3.5 time the player that Soriano(for example) is, or should be paid that way. While there is no doubt that Trout is a much better player the Sori, and that players often make much more than 3.5 time the money of other players, I don’t think that he is 3.5 times as valuable. I don’t think the Best player in any pro league is 3.5 times more valuable then even a typical, average player in that respected league. That being said, there is obviously a premium for being one of the best in the league.

          • MichiganGoat

            WAR is not a measurement of $ value it’s simply what it says – wins above replacement. Trout is worth 3.5x more wins a year than Soriano if not more. The $ per WAR is something that is trying to say what the average million per WAR is worth based on the contracts out there. It’s not very accurate but gives a discussion point when discussing contracts. It’s also a good talking point for agents.

          • hansman

            If you look at offensive numbers alone Trout creates 50 more runs a year. Considering he is better at defense and baserunning its easy to get 8 wins better.

    • hansman

      He had a .331 woba and league average C puts up a woba below .310

      He was an abover average offensive and defensive catcher

  • jeff1969

    Cardinals close to signing Jhonny Peralta as per MLBTR. Jeez,they’re kinda serious huh?

  • Brian Peters

    Cardinals, Peralta close on deal

  • Chris

    Does this mean the cubs have a better chance of signing tanaka?

    • BlameHendry

      they have never had a chance at Tanaka. Why would we invest money in our team?

    • MattRM

      Short answer is NO! Because the Cubs are not spending money probably for the next 3 years. Reason I say three is because two of the prospects will come up a tank and then Castro will show he is a 260 hitter so they will tell everybody that when they originally said they would be competitive by 2015 they meant 2019~!

    • DocPeterWimsey

      It’s not clear that Tanaka even is going to be available: unless I missed something in my Doctor Who frenzy over the last 48 hours, the whole bidding process is in limbo right now.

      • YourResidentJag

        Thought this as well.

  • Jason P

    I know it’s not popular to talk about because he’s on the “lucky” end of the spectrum, but Castillo’s BABIP is not going to stay .347 — and it probably won’t even stay .310 given how slow he his. If the right deal came along, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him moved this offseason.

    • MattRM

      That must be what it is then….I mean I look at his production offensively and I just do not see it! I like the OBP but slugging is low ops is low OPS+ is good but…….I dunno…….To me it’s a head scratcher…..

      • Blublud

        You know, OPS and OPS + is the same thing. So how can the OPS be low, but the OPS+ be good?

        • MichiganGoat

          They’re not the same thing, OPS+ measure how much better or worse a player is to the average for that year the average is 100 so a OPS+ great than 100 means better than average but OPS is just the objective measurement. So from year to year OPS can stay the same but OPS+ can change.

          • MattRM

            Thank you…..It also shows me that the catcher position has really gotten bad!!!!!!

            • MichiganGoat

              Yes catcher is a MLB weakness but Castillo is a fine starter and plays good defense.

              • MattRM

                There is no denying his D! THe one thing he does NOT do well is frame pitches. I HATE Yadier MOLINA!!!!! Hate him…..but that guy is a friggen GENIOUS when it comes to that! I think Castillo might be able to be on par defensively with him if he can learn that aspect….

                • MichiganGoat

                  Castillo still has time to learn how to frame pitches and Molina is one of the best ever so it’s hard to compare or expect him or anybody to be that good.

                  • MattRM

                    I agree, but who on the Cubs has even worked with him? I haven’t even heard them talk about it!

          • Blublud

            MG, I meant they were the same because If you are first in the league in OPS, you will be first in OPS+. If you are 5th in the league in OPS, you will be 5th in OPS+. I don’t believe OPS+ is adjusted by position is it.

            • MichiganGoat

              No not positional adjusted but it does account for park factors. See http://www.fangraphs.com/library/offense/ops/ so depending on park and league factors OPS & OPS+ are not directly stacked where 1st=1st etc.

              • Blublud

                OK, I got you. Good info.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Yeah think about it this way two players have an OPS of .800 but one players for the Rockies and the other for SD, so the Padres player would have a higher OPS+ than the Colorado player.

        • MattRM

          BTW….an 800 OPS is good….

          • MattRM

            So If that trade rumor is true and we trade shark and Castillo for wieters and bundy I hope bundy is great! I’m looking at Wieters’ numbers and wow Castillo is Mike Piazza compared to him!

            • cub2014

              ya, castillo is not going anywhere, cost
              controlled, starting to come into his own.
              NO WAY that deal is made.

              • MichiganGoat

                Agreed, not liking this idea since basically we’re not getting much in return for a young catcher and a proven starter.

              • jt

                add my voice to those asking that this deal not be made

  • YourResidentJag

    Torii Hunter ‏@toriihunter48 35m
    At chick-fil-a with my dad. He ask me if they had pork chops.😀😀#toofunny

  • Chris

    It’s been states my multiple sources that the cubs are serious players for tanaka and the Yankees to be the leaders. But with the Yankees putting serious money for mccan and cano I think that helps the cubs’ chances

  • Carew

    Is there any “truth” to the cubs-orioles trade rumor?

    • ChicagoMike702

      I really hope so.

      • Blublud

        Whats the rumor?

        • Carew

          Shark-Castillo for Weiters-Bundy. Probably more players too

          • Carew

            From Tom Loxas I think

  • Walter Sobchak

    How bout cubs offer cano 5 yrs 130 ?

  • Walter Sobchak

    I meant 5 yrs 150

    • MichiganGoat

      Idk 30M is a lot to committ to one player when we have so many needs. I still think he want a longer deal than 5 years. If he gets below 200M I think JayZ and Cano will be very disappointed. Might as well see if he’ll take a one year 30M contract with the promise of being traded so he won’t have draft pick compensation tied to him, but I doubt the market will fall so drastically for him that he has to consider that.

  • Jon

    Cards about to get Peralta meanwhile Cub are closing in on another AAAA 29 year old outfielder. Wooooooooo!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      What’s the point of the second part? That’s the kind of shit that we can do without, and what starts all the bitching all day long. It’s completely superfluous and just riles people up. Why do it, when you could instead say, “The Cards are about to sign Peralta, which is frustrating because the Cubs aren’t making those kinds of moves right now. I wish they were. (Or whatever)”

      • Jon

        Well, it would one thing if it was a major exaggeration but, it’s really not

        • MichiganGoat

          Yes it is and you know it… that’s the point. Comparing an organizational minor league filet to a starting MLB infielder is not rational and you know it.

        • Abe Froman

          Not about having the facts wrong its about the framing. Comparing the Peralta signing to a minor league deal on par with those which willl happen many times with the Cubs in the off season , along with every other team in the known fudging universe. That is the frustration, not looking at the big picture, throwing stones without offering realistic alternatives, and comparing apples to oranges (major signings vs. minor ones). Its not December yet as our fearless leader pointed out earlier as well.

      • Senor Cub

        Brett – I think BA should start a no-curse clause, if anyone curses, they have to donate some $$$ for make-a-wish foundation or whatever. We can all make our point without using foul words.

        • DarthHater

          Brett has to make the first donation for saying sh*t. ;-)

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            I’m above the law.

            • DarthHater

              Le blog, c’est toi. :-P

    • Senor Cub

      Jon – now you’ve ticked Brett off.

  • Rebuilding

    Not sure why Brian Cashman is highly regarded at all. I think a group of any 3 of us on this board could put together a better roster with $180 million payroll. Their farm system still isn’t much. And he openly criticized the best move they’ve made the last few years in Soriano. This kind of contract for McCann is just desperation as there are 2 and possibly 4 teams better than them on paper in the AL East

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