This was already happening, as Brian McCann has caught less and less for the Yankees in recent weeks. Today, however, Joe Girardi made it official, saying that Gary Sanchez will be the club’s primary catcher going forward. McCann will DH.
Given how most regular catchers feel about not catching (paging Jonathan Lucroy) this should probably be seen as a means of getting McCann to more readily waive his no-trade clause. McCann has cleared waivers and is still owed $34M over the next two seasons, but his ability to veto any possible trade has likely been an additional inhibitor to any possible deal. Given the Yankees’ recent selloff/casting off of veterans and its commitment to young players, it’s clear that McCann is not in the club’s long-term plans. Taking away the last thing he had left — playing time behind the plate — is just the next logical step in that process.
McCann is not worth his contract, but he is not a worthless player. He’s hitting .222/.333/.404, which is an OPS+ of 98. Not Brian McCann numbers like we used to know, but good enough to suggest that he can still be someone’s catcher. Just not the Yankees’.