It's a done deal. Brian McCann will be a Yankee.
Source: McCann deal with #Yankees is 5/85 with sixth-year vesting option that could bring it to 6/100.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2013
Whether or not that would have been a reasonable deal for the Red Sox to match depends a lot on what would make that option vest.
The Yankees are close to signing free agent catcher Brian McCann according to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
If this pans out, it would be a rather sudden end to what has so far been the central saga of the Red Sox' offseason. With a need behind the plate and a fair amount of money to spend, Boston was seen as a very realistic landing spot for McCann, one of the top free agents available in this year's market, particularly after Carlos Ruiz, another target of the team, signed elsewhere.
The question has always been what price McCann would come in at. The Sox have shown a good deal of reluctance, after all, to sign big-name free agents after the disaster that their free-spending ways led to in 2011. There was speculation that McCann's price tag could be more reasonable than the type that players of his quality tend to command, but speculation doesn't count for much when the Yankees choose to get their checkbooks out.
We'll see in due time if, assuming this deal goes down, it was a price the Red Sox should have been willing to pay. Even if it ends up being a high price, though, an improved Yankees team is never cause for celebration.
UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal is not quite so convinced.
Source: #Yankees remain in "serious" discussions with McCann, as they have been for some time. Deal not yet close.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2013
UPDATE AGAIN: Rosenthal sounding more certain...
Source: McCann close with #Yankees on five-year deal for more than $80M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 23, 2013
If it's not much over $80 million, that's a price I wouldn't have minded the Red Sox getting in on.
UPDATE THE THIRD: Pete Abraham makes it sound like the Red Sox are out of this one, barring a late gambit.
#RedSox negotiated with McCann. But they were well south of the final numbers. … Salty up next in catcher market?— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) November 23, 2013