Second Bold Prediction.
With Jason Castro seeking employment elsewhere, I see the Astros being aggressive to get a catcher as well. There are not many top options out there in free agency, with Matt Wieters and Wilson Ramos being the top choices. Castro probably falls to the third best option. Wieters has been inconsistent, and Ramos is a significant injury risk after tearing his ACL twice.
In house, the Astros have Max Stassi and a few young guys who may not be ready yet. Some might consider Gattis an everyday option, the team views him as a backup catcher who plays DH. The have been rumors that the Astros are looking at Yankees catcher Brian McCann. While I know McCann is not a popular option among CTH writers, I think he is a perfect fit.
MMP was made for McCann!
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Playing his home games at MMP would be perfect for McCann, as he is a left-handed hitter. His swing is made for the Crawford Boxes, and he would be the veteran leader the team needs. McCann is signed for the next two seasons for $17 million per year and a team option for 2019 for $15 million. You might say that is too much money to pay for McCann, but you could have some give and take with how much they will pay.
The teams are rumored to have mutual interest and could be hammering out the details. Luhnow wants Cashman to pay more of the contract and Cashman wants more/better prospects from Houston. Luhnow is probably trying to hold his top prospects for a trade for a pitcher, but it’s a little give and take from both sides.
Sanchez makes McCann available.
The Yankees have an emerging star in Gary Sanchez, so they don’t need McCann. They will not give him away, but I think there is a desire on both sides to complete a deal. I am predicting that McCann will be the opening day catcher in 2017.
The payroll will rise significantly if the team does make these two moves, now they would need to chase one of the Rays starting pitchers. Let’s make the Astros great again, make these moves Jeff. We could be the next Cubs!
***Salary via Baseball-Reference and quotes from The Score***