The New York Yankees made news Thursday as they traded veteran C/DH Brian McCann (.242, 20 HR, 13 doubles, 58 RBI in 130 games in 2016) to the Houston Astros in exchange for pitching prospects Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. McCann, who will be 33 in February, had been rumored to be on the way out of the Bronx to make room for rookie sensation Gary Sanchez, who came into the league on fire in August. Keeping McCann on the payroll for $34 million over the next two years didn’t make much sense when the Yankees have a hot shot 23-year-old everyday catcher.
Albert Abreu, the 7th overall prospect in the Houston system, posted a 3.72 ERA and 1.30 WHIP, to go along with 115 K’s, in 101.2 innings in A ball Quad Cities and Lancaster last season. He has been clocked at 99+ MPH.
Jorge Guzman spend last season in Rookie ball, posting a 4.05 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 40 innings. His arm has been clocked at 102-103 MPH, making him a strong candidate in what GM Brian Cashman hopes to be a dominant bullpen for years to come in the Bronx.
Brian Cashman has turned the Yankees farm system into one of, if not the, premier system in the league. OF Clint Frazier (15), SS Gleyber Torres (17), SS/2B Jorge Mateo (18), OF Aaron Judge (22), OF Blake Rutherford (50), and LHP Justus Sheffield (78) all rank in the top 100 on the MLB 2016 Prospect Watch. Rumors have begun swirling of Cashman gearing up to make a move for 25-year-old 2-time league MVP Mike Trout, as the Los Angeles Angels are in obvious need of some help everywhere else on their roster.
With the departure of McCann, the Yankees have been rumored to be looking to add another powerful bat to their lineup. Free agents Edwin Encarnacion and Carlos Beltran have to on their radar. Encarnacion hit .263 with 42 homers and 127 RBIs in Toronto this season. The Blue Jays reportedly do not have enough to offer him the reported 5-year, $125 million deal that he is looking for.
Beltran, who will be 40 next season, reportedly has drawn interest from the Yankees, Blue Jays, Red Sox, and Astros. After a disappointing 2014 campaign, Beltran has shown life the past two years, posting 48 home runs and 67 doubles as a 38 and 39-year-old. With his days of playing the field behind him, Beltran is an obvious candidate for DH, and someone in the AL will pay him.