Slugging 29-Year-Old Catcher Meets Media After Inking 5-Year, $85 Mil Deal

NEW YORK (WFAN) — Welcome to the Bronx!

A little less than two weeks ago, Brian McCann agreed to a five-year, $85 million deal with the Yankees. The deal includes a vesting option for a sixth year.

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The Bombers made the move official on Dec. 3, and the seven-time All-Star met the media on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.

McCann was introduced by general manager Brian Cashman and given the No. 34.

“To say this is one of the best days of my life is an understatement,” McCann said. “I hope to help this organization win multiple championships. I always admired from afar what these guys have been able to accomplish, and to be a part of it now is special.”

McCann, 29, told WFAN’s Mike Francesa he has no fear of New York. In fact, he said he will relish playing in front of some of the most rabid fans in all of sports.

“If anything it makes you a better baseball player, being held accountable every single night. Nobody puts more pressure on themselves than me,” he said. “So, like I said, I welcome it, I love it; the fact that the fans are so passionate.”

A lefty pull hitter, which should suit him nicely in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium, McCann is averaging more than 20 home runs per season during his career. Last season he had 20 homers and 57 RBI in 102 games for the Atlanta Braves, with whom he spent his first nine major league seasons. He said coming to a perennial contender was his top priority and that being on East Coast was also “a big deal” to him.

“When the Yankees called, the first day that teams could start calling, and they were interested, I came up here to visit and met all the guys. From that minute forward, I was sold,” McCann told Francesa. “This place is all about family and winning. Those two things are very high on my list.”

Yankees manager Joe Girardi gushed over his new backstop.

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“We think we have the next great Yankee catcher,” Girardi said.

McCann said he’s ready for the challenge and isn’t worried about the time it will take to get adjusted to AL pitchers and his own staff.

“I hope to fall in line with all the great catchers. I’m a huge fan of Jorge Posada. I got to play against him a couple of times and I’ve met him. The catchers that have been behind the plate here is unmatched and I’m excited,” said McCann, owner of five Silver Slugger Awards. “I’m going to start right away. I understand this is going to be a process, but it’s a process I’m extremely excited about. It’s going to be an adjustment for sure. There will be a lot more film study to understand the AL East. It’s still baseball at the end of the day and it’s just learning new guys.”

McCann is known for being a hard-nosed catcher who leads by example. He said while it would be easy to step right into a leadership role with the Yankees, he acknowledged that’s not the easiest thing to do on a team filled with superstars.

“This is Derek Jeter’s team. I’m a huge fan of Derek Jeter … I’m excited to meet the guys and to fall in line,” McCann said.

“I’m very passionate about the game of baseball and I’m very passionate about succeeding. I show up on a daily basis and do those two things,” McCann told Francesa. “If that comes off as fiery or as a leader or whatever you want to call it, I’m a guy who shows up every day to play.”

McCann said he was amazed by the Yankees’ commitment to winning and was especially thrilled by their aggressiveness during their pursuit of him and other players.

“Jacoby Ellsbury, what an amazing player. He’s one of the best in the game. I’m excited about that,” McCann said.

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