The Houston Astros have wasted no time solving their need for a catcher.
With Jason Castro currently on the open market, the ‘Stros were in search of someone to man behind home plate. Thursday evening, they found their guy, as the team announced their acquisition of Brian McCann from the New York Yankees. In exchange for the 32 year-old, the Yankees will receive prospects Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. Additionally, the Yankees agreed to pay $5.5 million of McCann’s $17 million salary for each of the next two seasons, according to ESPN’s Buster Olney.
McCann, 32, has become expendable as of late, given the explosion of rookie sensation Gary Sanchez, who finished as runner-up in the voting for AL Rookie of the Year with a .296/.372/.650 batting line, 20 home runs, and 42 RBIs in 229 plate appearances. In McCann, the Astros find a more-than-adequate replacement for Castro. Offensively, McCann will definitely serve as an upgrade. The former Atlanta Brave’s batting average has consistently hovered nearly 30 points higher than Castro’s. McCann will also serve as an upgrade in power, as he has surpassed the 20 home run threshold in every season dating back to 2008. Meanwhile, Castro has not hit 20 homers once in his six-year career. Most importantly, McCann will fill the left-handed void in the lineup, in the event that Castro had signed elsewhere. Much like with Houston’s earlier signing of Josh Reddick, the team has seemingly swapped a pair of left-handed hitters for a pair of left-handed upgrades, replacing the departing Castro and Colby Rasmus with the duo of McCann and Reddick. FOXSports’ Ken Rosenthal is reporting that McCann will create a platoon with Evan Gattis. Gattis figures to play around 60 games, according to Rosenthal, while the rest go to McCann.
Abreu, 21, signed with the Astros as an 18-year-old. In three professional seasons, the right-hander has compiled an 8-13 record with a 3.16 ERA in 216.1 career innings. He currently possesses a K:BB Ratio of 220:108. To date, Abreu has reached High-A Lancaster. The Yankees also received 20-year-old Jorge Guzman. Guzman has two years of professional experience under his belt, both with the Astros. At the current moment, Guzman is sitting at the Rookie Ball level, pitching for the Greenville Astros of the Appalachian League. In 95.1 career innings, Guzman owns a 6-8 record with a 4.63 ERA.
This move serves as a win-win for both teams. Houston acts quickly to replace Castro (who has reportedly received offers from multiple teams), avoiding the risk of being burnt while waiting too long. On the flip-side, both youngsters add depth to a Yankees farm system that is still being rebuilt.