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Keeping Brian McCann could help Gary Sanchez in the present and future

A veteran catcher’s presence can help a young star find his full potential

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

With the trade deadline noise officially silenced, the Yankees find themselves with a crop of top prospects and a bright ray of hope for the future. Still, even after dealing three of their best players to bolster a now top-tier farm system, there were some who felt more pieces could have been moved, specifically Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, or Brian McCann.

The Yankees seemed to be working to move McCann during the meat of their deadline talks when news spread of a deal discussed between Brian Cashman and the Atlanta Braves, McCann’s former team who drafted and developed the Yankee catcher.

The deal did not get done due to Braves executives believing Cashman was asking for too much in return, and the fact that the Yankees did not want to be on the hook for much more of McCann’s remaining salary from the five-year, $85 million deal that McCann signed in 2014. However, there were rumors that talks could resume in the offseason.

So for now, McCann is a Yankee, and that is not a bad thing for those looking for the all-out fire sale. The Yankees could still further bolster their farm system in the winter meetings if the Braves are still in the market for a catcher (a position they badly need help at). Atlanta certainly wouldn’t be alone in its search for reliable receivers, either.

Instead of focusing on whatever prospects weren’t yet acquired in a McCann deal, we can focus on current Yankees prospects who can benefit from McCann’s presence in pinstripes. Gary Sanchez had been hitting well in Scranton, and now finds himself in the Bronx to potentially take reps behind the plate and DH when McCann or Austin Romine are catching.

Sanchez can learn a lot from a proven veteran like McCann, who handles a pitching staff well and has years of major league experience under his belt, many of those years being played at an All-Star level.

McCann can take the next two months of the 2016 season to focus on Sanchez, and make sure his transition to more consistent work in the majors is as smooth as possible. He is clearly a great talent, but newcomers need guidance on how to handle major league competition, especially at the catcher position. Under the watch of McCann and Joe Girardi, the Yankees could help groom a future star behind the plate, and make sure he maximizes the potential of however much playing time he sees down the stretch of this season.

A group of young studs is a valuable asset to have, but a core of veterans to show the youngsters the way is also vital to a club’s success. The “Core Four” of the mid-to-late nineties were incredible talents, but the help of veterans like Don Mattingly, Paul O’Neill and David Cone played roles in guiding the up-and-coming youngsters, who turned out fairly well.

One of the members of the Core Four, Jorge Posada, had Girardi, then a veteran catcher, at his disposal. Posada learned a lot from his mentor before their friendship was strained towards the back end of Posada’s career, after Girardi took the helm as Yankee manager. McCann has a chance to replicate Girardi’s early value to Posada with Sanchez, which would help the Yankees enormously.

It would have been nice to add more to an already completely revamped farm system by moving a player who is not part of the team’s future plans. That can still happen in a few months. For now, we can see the benefit of the deal not being done until the offseason, after McCann’s replacement has two months of experience and valuable mentoring.