The 32-year-old offers everyday services behind the plate, and a left-handed bat to mix in the lineup. He produced a .242 BA, with 20 home runs and 58 RBIs in 2016. Although these numbers do not jump out at you, it is the combination of his hitting prowess and catching abilities that made him a valuable option for the Astros.
In comparison, Jason Castro produced a .211 BA, 11 home runs, and 31 RBIs. The Astros have strengthened the lineup without sacrificing the defensive element of catching.
McCann is invigorated to join this young, rising team. We often forget how morale and attitude can change a person’s abilities. McCann walks into a situation knowing he is the everyday catcher. He has value and will look to validate his place on the roster.
The sweetest part of this deal is the Yankees will kick in for McCann’s salary the next two years. All in all, this was a logical acquisition that gives the Astros more versatility at the plate, as well as behind it.
The 29-year-old outfielder is the last piece of the puzzle in solidifying the outfield for the Astros. Reddick performed well in the American League, and a reunion could lead to even better success moving forward. I don’t wish to look too deeply into Reddick’s stats, as he has a .255 lifetime average in the MLB, posting some of his best years while with the Athletics.
He, like McCann, will be looking to validate his place on the team and will benefit from being surrounded by this group of players. This move does need for either Reddick of Springer to play center field. However, Springer’s talent is capable of handling this task.
The trio of Aoki-Springer-Reddick offers great balance in the lineup and a defensive front that need not be changed so quickly. With Marisnick, Hernandez and Kemp playing backup roles to this trio; the Astros are in great shape in the outfield.
Apr 17, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Charlie Morton (47) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Acquiring a pitcher proved necessary after watching the 2016 season unfold. The decline of Dallas Keuchel and the injury to Lance McCullers showed the Astros truly needed to improve their pitching staff heading into 2017.
Not only that but the departure of Doug Fister made it very clear the Astros would looking for pitching. Charlie Morton is the first pitching move made by the Astros. Even though Morton struggled in 2016 with injuries, there is enormous potential for the veteran.
Morton boasts excellent spin rate levels with his pitches. He is a ground ball specialist, and with this defense, he will look to find greater success. Morton will have a chance to work with the coaching staff that gave us Cy Keuchel and Collin McHugh. The ceiling is high for the 33-year-old, and I believe he is happy for this opportunity.
All in all, these moves are a great sign of the drive the front office has to help our Astros find success and advance through the postseason. The efforts to improve this team are just beginning, and I look forward to their next moves. The addition of a top starting pitcher would be the next move for the Stros, and a necessary one at that.
***Statistics and Data provided by Baseball Reference, ESPN, and MLB***