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Astros acquire catcher Brian McCann from Yankees

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2 minor league pitchers sent to New York

Houston Astros v New York Yankees Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Houston Astros have filled their need at catcher, acquiring Brian McCann from the New York Yankees in exchange for two prospects, the teams announced on Thursday.

Houston needed to fill the position with Jason Castro now a free agent. Castro started 102 games behind the plate in 2016, with Evan Gattis starting 49 times at catcher.

McCann, who turns 33 in February, hit .242/.335/.413 with 20 home runs in 130 games for the Yankees in 2016, his ninth straight season with at least 20 home runs. The left-handed-hitting McCann has averaged 22 home runs per year in his 11 full major league seasons.

He also has two years remaining on his five-year contract at $17 million each season plus a vesting option for 2019. The Yankees will play $5.5 million per season the next two years to offset that salary, per Buster Olney of ESPN.

In exchange, the Yankees received right-handed pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman.

In addition, New York cleared the way for Gary Sanchez to be their everyday catcher, after the rookie exploded on the scene with 20 home runs in 53 games in 2016. Sanchez finished second in American League Rookie of the Year voting on Monday.

Abreu, who turned 21 in August, posted a 3.72 ERA in 24 games between two Class-A levels in 2016, including 16 starts. The right-hander struck out 115 and walked 58 in 101⅔ innings.

Guzman, who turns 21 in January, had a 4.05 ERA in Rookie Level in 2016, with 54 strikeouts and 17 walks in 40 innings.