Are the New York Yankees trying to continue their youth movement through the waiver deadline? It could happen.
With McCann clearing waivers, it allows the Yankees to look for a trade partner interested in picking up the veteran backstop. The Atlanta Braves did have interest in a reunion with him at the non-waiver trade deadline to bring a veteran presence to the Braves clubhouse, since they are also going through a transition period as they move into SunTrust Stadium next season. However, McCann is still owed $34 million through 2018 and the Yankees might have to eat some of it in order for a deal to happen.
McCann also has a full no-trade clause in his contract, so he can veto any agreement the Yankees make. Another team also interested was the Texas Rangers, but with their acquisition of Jonathan Lucroy from the Milwaukee Brewers at the trade deadline, a deal obviously isn’t going to happen. If the Yankees are unable to find a team to take McCann at the waiver deadline, they can always revisit a trade in the offseason or at the 2017 trade deadline to a contending team if they’re not contenders themselves.
It might make sense for the Yankees to be patient for a while on McCann. With the departure of veteran players like Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez at the end of the 2016 season, the team needs some veteran presence in the clubhouse, and there aren’t many players on the roster who can fill that void right now. By keeping McCann, it gives Joe Girardi some flexibility for him if Gary Sanchez makes the team. Girardi could start Sanchez as a catcher while alternating McCann and Greg Bird, who is returning from a shoulder injury, between first base and designated hitter.
McCann, 32, is hitting .233 with 15 homers and 44 runs batted in this season.