In trading Brian McCann, Yankees buy two more lottery tickets

Even as GM Brian Cashman adds more chips, the Yankees are still looking to contend in 2017. Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman is hoping to build an "uber team," which means buying some lottery tickets. By trading Brian McCann to Houston for two talented minor league starters, Cashman is adding to a stockpile he began building at the trade deadline.

McCann joins Andrew Miller, Aroldis Chapman, Carlos Beltran and Ivan Nova out the door since July. In all, Cashman has acquired a total of 14 prospects. The latest, Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman, join a haul meant to support the next great Yankee run -- which could be scheduled to begin in about 2018.

Still, while the Yankees load their farm system, they can use their finances to add new chips. They subtracted $23 million in salary by unloading McCann. Now, if they want to, they could go out and re-sign Chapman and Beltran, which would make them stronger for 2017, even as they prepare for the future.

In other words, the Yankees can rebuild and contend at the same time. That's the beauty of being the Yankees.

That doesn’t mean they will be successful. McCann's tenure in the Bronx is evidence that money can’t buy you wins. The winter prior to the 2014 season, the Yankees spent nearly a half-billion dollars. While Masahiro Tanaka's contract and Beltran’s were good ones, McCann's and Jacoby Ellsbury's were not.

McCann wasn't a bad player in New York, but he wasn’t great. He struggled against left-handed pitching and eventually lost his job to wunderkind Gary Sanchez. There was a sense from people close to McCann that he would welcome leaving the Bronx, because he didn’t want to be relegated to catching once a week and then only DHing against righties.

Instead, the Yankees possibly could bring Beltran back to DH. It will come down to money, but Beltran really likes New York. Chapman or Mark Melancon might be had for the bullpen. And they can still make a run at starting pitcher Rich Hill.

With the deal, the Yankees didn’t receive immediate help, but they did build for the future and still can compete in the AL East.