The Yankees had reportedly been chatting with the Astros about a potential Brian McCann deal, and now they’ve struck a deal.
New York agreed to send McCann—and more importantly, money to cover his salary—to Houston in exchange for right-handed pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman, they announced on Thursday night.
Abreu, 21, has had a steady beginning to his career in the lower-minors, owning a 3.16 ERA in 216 1/3 innings. He’s pitched at high-A, but Guzman, 20, has not—completing last season at rookie ball. Both are raw, live arms, with Abreu owning four pitches. That would mean he projects out as a starter down the road.
According to Jon Heyman, the Yankees will pay just $5.5 million of the $11.5 million that McCann’s owed next season. That’s not bad.
Here’s what they bring to the table, according to Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper:
Albert Abreu has 4 pitches, touches 99. Jorge Guzman is better when he gears down to 97-99, touches 102-103. Good pickups for Yanks.
— JJ Cooper (@jjcoop36) November 17, 2016
This ends the McCann era at catcher, after he signed a five-year deal back in 2013 to be the team’s everyday backstop. It’s Gary Sanchez’s job now.
The trade also means that the team will need to fill the DH spot in the lineup, considering McCann was expected to play the majority of his games there. They’ll either rotate between a hefty bunch of players, or go out and sign a big bat. There are plenty.
With two more intriguing arms in the bullpen, it’s hard to believe general manager Brian Cashman won’t be calling around on some of the league’s top players on the right side of 30. The team could theoretically make a deal for Chris Sale and keep enough prospects to maintain a top-five farm system. Time will tell what the team decides to do, and if they will stick to their commitment to youth.