50th Annual FDNY vs. NYPD Hockey Heroes Game from UBS Arena - TODAY at 4:15pm ETWATCH HERE

The Houston Astros Traded A Pair Of Prospects For Brian McCann

Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

This trade has been brewing for a while now, or basically since Gary Sanchez emerged as a megastar as the Yankees’ new catcher, which forced Brian McCann into a DH role

Perhaps looking to free up that DH position for a designated hitter who can actually hit, the Yankees were able to flip McCann to the Houston Astros for a pair of prospects, and it appears that this was more than just an addition by subtraction-type move. One of the two prospects coming back to the Yankees in this deal, Albert Abreu, is actually the No. 7 prospect in Houston’s system, and their No. 4 pitching prospect overall, according to MLB.com. Although, it should be noted that Abreu didn’t make the cut for Baseball America’s top 100 prospects list at the midseason point. Still, a top 10 prospect from an organization in exchange for McCann is a job well done.

As Buster Olney reported, the Yankees will be paying a portion of McCann’s salary, which makes sense since McCann had been a pretty big disappointment, offensively, in his three years in pinstripes, hitting .235 with a .731 OPS. McCann had been a career .277 hitter with an .823 OPS over nine seasons with Atlanta before coming to New York. The Astros were actually the seventh best offensive team in the majors at the catching position this year with a .760 OPS, but the plan, according to Ken Rosenthal, is to have Evan Gattis catching 50-60 games with McCann handling the rest of the catching duties. He’ll likely DH when Gattis is catching, assuming Houston doesn’t sign a full-time DH.

As a lefty bat, McCann will provide some balance to an Astros lineup that features a bunch of right-handed hitters like George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa. McCann also brings some veteran leadership to a team whose position players were an average age of 27.4 years old in 2016.

Also, both the Yankees and the Astros want Carlos Beltran as their DH, so that’ll be an interesting little storyline if the Yankees traded McCann to free up their DH spot for a Beltran return, and then Beltran decides to follow his former teammate in McCann to Houston. We shall see.