Yankees welcome aboard McCann, promise more moves

Thu Dec 5, 2013 5:17pm EST
 
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By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Seven-time All-Star catcher Brian McCann was introduced to the media at Yankee Stadium on Thursday as the first piece of a major reloading for the New York team that finished tied for third last season.

"To say this one of the best days of my life would be an understatement," McCann said after donning a No. 34 pinstriped uniform jersey.

McCann, 29, batted .256 with 20 home runs and 57 runs batted in over 102 games last season for the Atlanta Braves after missing the first 30 games recovering from right shoulder surgery.

The Yankees, winners of a Major League Baseball record 27 World Series titles, failed to reach the post-season last season for only the second time in 19 years with an aged squad beset by injuries and lacking in power.

"Brian McCann's been one of the game's great catchers," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.

"We're hoping that he can come over here and continue the type of production on the offensive and defensive side that he's provided in Atlanta."

The deal with McCann, worth a reported $85 million over the first five years, gives the Yanks a much-needed offensive upgrade behind the plate.

New York used four catchers last season, who accounted for a major league-low eight home runs from the position, while McCann has strung together six seasons in a row with 20 or more home runs in the pitcher-friendly Atlanta ballpark.   Continued...

 
Dec 5, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi (right) and new catcher Brian McCann during press conference at Yankees Stadium. Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports