Brian McCann agrees with Yankees
NEW YORK -- After wooing Brian McCann during a visit to the Bronx this week, the New York Yankees have agreed to a five-year, $85 million contract with the catcher that includes a vesting option for a sixth season that could push the total to $100 million, a source has told ESPNNewYork.com.
The deal will have a full no-trade clause, according to a source.
Besides their own free agent, Robinson Cano, the Yankees made McCann one of their main priorities this winter. The Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox were two of the handful of teams interested in McCann. The Rangers were told earlier Saturday that McCann would not be signing with them, according to ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett.
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The deal is pending a physical.
The Yankees were aggressive with McCann as they consider him the first phase in an offseason plan in which they hope to go on a free-agent shopping spree, while also lowering their payroll to less than $189 million. Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner has made this a goal for the franchise because he wants to take advantage of the luxury tax and revenue sharing savings that ducking under the figure would allow them to do.
Earlier this week, McCann and Abbott visited the Yankees and a source said the Yankees were "aggressively" trying to lock him up.
McCann's agent, B.B. Abbott, told ESPNNewYork.com in the middle of the week that McCann, 29, was willing to do a deal quickly if the right one presented itself.
The Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer, who is now transitioning to first base, was the highest paid catcher in the game with an eight-year, $184 million deal, while the St. Lous Cardinals Yadier Molina is in the midst of a five-year, $75 million deal. McCann made $12 million.
Last winter, the Yankees declined to sign Russell Martin and instead went with a combination of Chris Stewart, Francisco Cervelli and Austin Romine. They feel McCann's power would play very well with Yankee Stadium's short right-field porch. He can DH and possibly transition to first base at the end of a multiyear contract.
McCann hit .257 with 20 homers and 56 RBIs in 2013.
The Yankees' next top target could be Carlos Beltran, whom they prefer slightly over the other free-agent outfielders because he figures to receive a shorter term contract. They also are interested in outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury.
If Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka is posted, the Yankees plan on making a major bid for him.
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