The Yankees made the signing of Brian McCann official today and will announce their new catcher on Thursday. Now the actual details of his contract are out for everyone to see.
The Yankees pay McCann $17 million a year from 2014 through 2018. The sixth-year vesting option is for $15 million, and will only come into play under very specific circumstances:
- He must have 1,000 plate appearances between 2017 and 2018
- He must play at least 90 games behind the plate in 2018
- He can't end the 2018 season on the disabled list.
Of course, if the option vests, McCann will also have the right to void it.
This is a very interesting breakdown in a lot of ways. The money is spread evenly over the first five years of the deal, which seems to be rather rare. It means the contract hasn't been frontloaded or backloaded to make the contract more favorable at a certain point in time. It could show that the Yankees are confident he will be worth $17 million for the next five years, or it might be just to make him happy. Only the AAV will be counted anyway, so it has no impact on the team's budget.
The option actually turned out to be great for the Yankees. So many criteria will allow the Yankees to make sure they get good value from McCann. Essentially, the deal will only vest if he's good and healthy and still a catcher. While a sixth year sounded scary, the language will ensure that the Yankees are safe from all possibilities. McCann has shown to be somewhat injury prone, but the hope is he will stay healthy, at least for a few more years. If he's moved to first base because of injury of because Gary Sanchez pushes him out, the Yankees can easily get rid of him. In the end, if he's good, he'll probably void the option year anyway in order to get a better contract. He'll be just 35 and if he's healthy he could land another lucrative deal elsewhere. This is a win for everyone.
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