NEW YORK (AP) — Free-agent catcher Brian McCann and the New York Yankees are about to complete a five-year deal worth around $85 million, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Saturday night.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal wasn't finalized. The contract is expected to include a vesting option worth $15 million. The deal's completion is pending a physical.
In an already brisk offseason throughout the majors, the McCann move would be the first major addition for the Yankees since they missed the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years. They finished fourth in the AL East this year.
The Yankees made finding a catcher a priority, and McCann was the best available. The seven-time All-Star played all nine of his big league seasons with the Atlanta Braves, hitting at least 20 homers for a sixth straight season before choosing to test the market after the World Series.
The 29-year-old McCann returned from offseason shoulder surgery in April and hit .256 with 57 RBIs in 356 at-bats for the NL East champions.
The Braves will receive a compensatory pick between the first and second round of the June draft because McCann turned down their $14.1 million qualifying offer.
The Yankees relied heavily on career backup Chris Stewart last year after Francisco Cervelli was injured, then suspended 50 games. They had let Gold Glove catcher Russell Martin leave as a free agent in a cost-cutting move before the 2013 season.
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