One of the biggest losses the New York Yankees had during the offseason was the departure of starting catcher Russell Martin, who signed a two-year deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates and has been a big part of their playoff push to October.
The Yankees went with a patch-work job of going with Francisco Cervelli; who ended up going down for the season with a hand injury, plus being suspended 50 games for his involvement in the Biogenesis case, which left the Yankees using Chris Stewart, Austin Romine and rookie J.R. Murphy, which has been fine for the most part defensively, but offensively, has not been the best group of catchers to get the job done.
The Yankees don't have a clear option available ready to come up as the primary catcher and none of the current options are the clear options, which may put the Yankees in the market for a catcher next season in free agency. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Yankees could be players for soon-to-be free agents Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves and Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the Boston Red Sox.
Yankee fans know Saltalamacchia well from the years he has played against them with the Red Sox. The 28-year-old is hitting .266 with 13 home runs and 59 RBI in 117 games for the 2013 American League East Champions and has had a lot of big hits and home runs for the Red Sox this season, especially in games over the Yankees this season. Saltalamacchia has been playing mostly on one-year deals and with his play for the Red Sox, could be in line for a nice payday in free agency.
McCann, like Saltalamacchia, has also had a nice season with the Braves and could be in line for an even bigger payday since he's the more prominent name in the free agent catcher market. The 29-year-old McCann is currently hitting .258 with 20 home runs and 57 RBI in 98 games for the soon to be National League East Champions.
For a guy like McCann, he might cost more to acquire; something along the lines of a four-year, $54 million deal, but could be the more useful bat in the lineup. However, Saltalamacchia might not cost as much in a deal and has experience playing in the tough American League East. For Saltalamacchia, a three-year, $27 million deal might be something he's looking for in free agency this offseason. However, it'll be likely that the Red Sox will want to keep their own catcher. McCann, however, is likely to leave Atlanta after spending his entire nine-year career in Atlanta.
The Yankees were hopeful of Gary Sanchez being ready for the Yankees, but he's not likely to get the call up anytime soon, and with the Yankees having quite a bit of money coming off the books in free agency this winter, they could look to afford a prominent catcher that would bolster the lineup. McCann might the more attractive choice, although he would cost a little bit more in salary; he would easily add the power element in the Yankees lineup that was missing with Martin's departure.
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