Brian McCann Yankees Spinning Wheel

Fangraphs CrowdSourcing Contract: 4 years / $59 million, AAV $14.8 million

Brian McCann is #1 on the target list for just about every Yankee fan who thinks the club should be active in free agency. After suffering through a year of Chris Stewart, the front office seems willing to pay big bucks for the former Braves backstop, after refusing to pay for one year of Russell Martin. Go figure.

The competition for McCann is reportedly fierce with the Rangers launching an all-out assault, as Boston lurks in the background. Word on the street is that McCann could get anywhere from $80 million-$100 million.

The offensive exploits of the 29-year old are well known. He’s a career .277/.350/.473 hitter (117 wRC+). For comparison, Jorge Posada was a career .273/.374/.474 (123 wRC+).

After playing with an injured shoulder in 2012, which resulted in a career-worst campaign of .230/.300/.399 (87 wRC+), McCann rebounded in 2013 by hitting .256/.336/.461 (122 wRC+). He only had 402 PA due to his recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, but he still managed nearly 3 WAR — according to Fangraphs.

Defensively, McCann is below-average in throwing out basestealers with a 24% CS rate versus the 28% MLB average since entering the league. However, he grades out positively in pitch-blocking and pitch-framing. Even though catching metrics are still works in progress, it’s safe to say McCann isn’t a liability behind the plate.

Overall, if McCann can get close to 500 PA over the course of a season, he’s going to be worth at least 3 WAR, and that’s probably a low estimate for the next couple years (in his age 30 & 31 seasons). In 2011, McCann had 527 PA and was worth 3.9 WAR.

We’d sign up for the Fangraphs crowdsourcing contract in a heartbeat (4/59), but its readers were probably high on drugs when they came up with that one. We’d go 5 years in the $80-$83 million range. The estimates of $100 million are too expensive for our taste, and McCann won’t be worth that much, especially as he ages and needs to transition away from catching.