Yankees introduce McCann

3:56 PM, Dec 5, 2013   |    comments
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Bronx, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brian McCann officially became a New York Yankee on Thursday and called it "one of the best days of my life."

The free-agent catcher signed a five-year contract on Tuesday and on Thursday had his introductory news conference at Yankee Stadium.

"To say this is one of the best days of my life would be an understatement," McCann said during his opening statement. "I'm excited to meet the guys and just fall in line."

The deal, which includes a vesting option for 2019, was originally reported on Nov. 23 and said to be worth $85 million.

Unanimously regarded as the top free-agent catcher on the market, McCann is a career .277 hitter who has reached the 20-home run mark in each of the last six seasons. The former Atlanta Brave has been named to the National League's All-Star squad in seven of his eight full major league campaigns.

McCann, who turns 30 in February, missed the first month of the 2013 season while recovering from a strained left oblique, but rebounded to put up 20 homers and 57 RBI while batting .256 in 102 games with the Braves.

He joins a Yankees squad that endured great instability behind the plate this past year. Opening Day starter Francisco Cervelli played in only 17 games due to a broken hand and a suspension for his link to the Biogenesis scandal, leaving the light-hitting combo of Chris Stewart and Austin Romine to handle the majority of the catching duties. Stewart was dealt to Pittsburgh on Monday.

"We think we have the next great Yankee catcher," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi on Thursday.

Though McCann hasn't appeared in more than 128 games in any of the last three seasons, he could very well benefit from a move to the American League, where the Yankees will have the option of using him as a designated hitter in spots. Playing half his games in Yankee Stadium, with its short right-field porch conducive to left-handed power hitters, may help boost his numbers as well.

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