New York Yankees deal Brian McCann to Houston

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NEW YORK - The New York Yankees traded veteran catcher Brian McCann and $11 million to the Houston Astros on Thursday for a pair of young minor league pitchers.

Houston sent right-handers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman to the Yankees.

McCann is a seven-time All-Star, but his playing time diminished in the second half of the season as rookie Gary Sanchez emerged as a power hitter behind the plate. Sanchez hit 20 home runs in just 53 games.

The 32-year-old McCann hit .242 with 20 homers and 58 RBIs this year.

"We entered the offseason with the acquisition of a catcher as a primary focus," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement.

"Brian McCann is a great fit for the Astros as he is not only a good defensive catcher, he is also a left-handed hitter with proven run-producing ability," he said. "His experience and his ability to impact his teammates will be a significant benefit to our team."

Jason Castro made the most starts at catcher for the Astros last year, batting .210 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs.

Houston and the Yankees met in the AL wild-card game in 2015, but neither team reached the playoffs this year.

McCann made his big league debut with the Braves in 2005. He hit 24 homers the next year and has hit at least 18 home runs in every season since then.

McCann has 245 career homers with 888 RBIs while batting .266.

This was McCann's third season in New York after signing an $85 million, five-year deal as a free agent.

McCann is due $17 million in each of the next two seasons, and the Yankees will pay $5.5 million both years.

The Yankees had a $15 million option for 2019 with no buyout. The option became McCann's if he had at least 1,000 plate appearances combined in 2017 and 2018, had at least 90 starts at catcher in 2018 and didn't end up the 2018 season on the disabled list.

The 21-year-old Abreu was a combined 3-8 with a 3.72 ERA for two teams in Class A. The 20-year-old Guzman was a combined 3-4 with a 4.05 ERA with two rookie-level teams.


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