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Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Spend Hal's Money: Brian McCann

By Andrew Marchand

We want to know how you'd spend Hal Steinbrenner's cash this winter. Are you buying Brian McCann?
Hal Steinbrenner's "serious goal" is to have the Yankees' payroll fall below the $189 million salary threshold. With that in mind, here at ESPN New York, we are going to examine potential free agent and trade candidates in a feature we call, "Spend Hal's Money."

Candidate: Brian McCann
Position: Catcher
Age: 29
Height: 6-3
Weight: 230
2013: .256, 20 HRs, 57 RBIs, .796 OPS

SHOULD THE YANKEES SPEND HAL'S MONEY?: McCann could potentially add the power the Yankees lost from 2012 to 2013. Not only did the Yankees let catcher Russell Martin leave, they also never replaced left-handed swinging Nick Swisher's production. McCann, a year later, could be somewhat of a replacement for both, while offering protection if Curtis Granderson was to exit.

The left-handed McCann may emerge as the second-highest player on the Yankees' free-agent board after Robinson Cano. McCann's .796 OPS was nearly 100 points higher than what Martin put up in Pittsburgh, and is a huge upgrade over Chris Stewart's bat (.566 OPS). McCann's OPS this season was also better than Swisher's .763. In his career, McCann tops Swisher in the OPS category (.823 to .820).

On defense, McCann doesn't throw very well, only nailing 24 percent of basestealers in 2013, which was a few ticks below the NL average of 28 percent.

A source told ESPN New York the Yankees need Alex Rodriguez's suspension to be upheld if they are going to be able to re-sign Cano and squeeze McCann in while remaining below Hal's $189 million goal.

OUR VERDICT: Spend it.