Meet Your Newest Astro: Brian McCann
The World Series ended only 2 weeks ago and yet the Astros have already gotten busy with the Free Agency and Trading Markets opening back up. Jeff Luhnow promised that the Astros would take an aggressive approach this offseason looking for ways to make the team better. With approximately $50M or so coming off the payroll and still one of the deepest farm systems in baseball, they have the assets to pull off a few acquisitions or more.
Luhnow didn’t wait long to get started making a trade yesterday for Brian McCann.
McCann was originally drafted by the Braves in 2002 and played for the Braves from 2005-2013. Following the 2013 season he signed a big deal with the Yankees for 5 yr/$85 million. While he hasn’t lived up to those expectations completely, he has been solid in a Yankees uniform with WAR totals of 1.8, 2.9, and 0.9. He also hit 23, 26, and 20 HR in his three seasons pinstripes.
McCann has shown consistency at the plate in his big league career, and though he’s getting older, he can still hit shots into the seats. For Houston, he’ll split reps with Evan Gattis at both Catcher and DH. He’s a HR threat, and with Houston’s short right and left field fences (not to mention shortening CF to 409ft), there’s a chance his HR numbers could rise, as he’s been consistently hitting 20+ since 2008. He’s not be a .300, but he’s valuable at the plate and behind it, so it’ll be interesting to see where is production will be in Houston. While it sucks to lose someone like Albert Abreu, who was just starting to blossom as an Astros’ Minor Leaguer, a new opportunity will be presented to him in New York and we wish him the best. To get talent you have to give talent, and I believe the trade was pretty even on both sides.
Here is my projection for McCann in 2017:
.240/.320/.420, 20 HR, 65 RBI, 45 BB, 100 K
I could be wrong, but I’m going to assume Luhnow is not done this early into the offseason. Many believe now he could be gearing up to make a blockbuster trade for an ace-type pitcher (such as Chris Archer or Chris Sale), and Encarnacion is still on the board and still as sexy as an option as ever. The chances of signing Encarnacion took a hit when Houston added the two impact bats yesterday, but nevertheless I feel Luhnow could possibly continue to go after one more bat. One thing is for sure, Luhnow identified the team’s needs and didn’t wait around to see what happened. He plucked the 3 guys he wanted and now he can sit back and get creative with one of baseball’s best team with one of baseball’s best farm systems and still a lot of money to be spent.
**Photo Credit: Getty Images**