In one section of the Braves’ clubhouse Wednesday morning at Champion Stadium, former Yankees pitcher Freddy Garcia tried to envision how many home runs catcher Brian McCann would hit at his new home. “I don’t know how many home runs he got here,” the veteran right-hander said of his former teammate — McCann went deep 20 times last year. “He’ll probably hit 40 in New York. He hits a lot of fly balls to right field. Second deck [at Yankee Stadium].” Diagonally from Garcia, all-world closer Craig Kimbrel praised his battery mate of the previous four seasons. “He told me to quit trying to be so fine and just rear back and let my ability take over,” Kimbrel said of McCann. “And once I did that, I could start working on some other things. He always gives the pitcher a lot of confidence. Even if they don’t have their best stuff, he’s going to let them think they do.” Up in the stands, a talent evaluator from another major league club expressed his belief John Ryan Murphy, the Yankees’ young catcher, possessed the potential to start someday for a big league team. McCann’s first return to his original team’s Grapefruit League home allowed him to display all that he brings to the Yankees for his five-year, $85 million deal. He provides lineup depth, character depth and organizational depth. The last of those might come into play first. Thanks to the presence of McCann, the Yankees can entertain the notion of trading another catcher, with the out-of-options Francisco Cervelli the most obvious chip. ESPN’s Buster Olney first pointed out a potential match between the Pirates, who need catching (after losing former Yankees catcher Chris Stewart to right knee surgery) and boast of excess relievers, and the Yankees, who appear to be the opposite.
New catcher McCann gives Yankees trade flexibility
New York Post | Mar 20