THERE WERE flowers for his wife. There were Onesies for his baby.
For Brian McCann, there was something more understated: a No. 34 pinstriped jersey and a navy blue Yankees hat.
"To say this is one of the best days of my life would be an understatement," McCann said.
Yesterday afternoon, the Yankees unveiled their new blue-ribbon acquisition. They will pay McCann $85 million for the next 5 years.
And they think he's worth it.
The men in charge of running the Yankees crafted their message in historic terms, adding McCann's name to a roll call that included Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey, Thurman Munson and Jorge Posada. All catchers; all legends.
"We think we have the next great Yankee catcher with us," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said.
McCann, a seven-time All-Star, hit .277 with 176 home runs and 661 RBI during his nine seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He has hit at least 18 homers for eight straight seasons.
So the Yankees now have some pop behind the plate. They used four different catchers in 2013: Chris Stewart, Austin Romine, Francisco Cervelli and J.R. Murphy. Those four combined to hit eight homers.
McCann hit 20 during his age-29 season. Now he has a short porch in rightfield - a porch tailor-made for lefthanded bats.
"This is a real perfect fit," general manager Brian Cashman said. "And hopefully he'll have a long, productive career here that continues with the Yankees."
First baseman Mark Teixeira, who played with McCann in Atlanta, helped the Yankees deliver their sales pitch. He told McCann that the organization is about two things: family and winning.
Of course, that enormous stack of money the Yankees offered didn't hurt.
"He didn't have to sell me," McCann said. "Once I came up here, I was pretty much sold."
Three days before general managers begin arriving in Orlando, Fla., at the winter meetings, the Yankees have already proved prolific shoppers. In addition to McCann, they came to terms with former Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a 7-year, $153 million pact.
Cashman made it clear the team has no plans to close its checkbook. Both Cashman and Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner made a point to emphasize they still need more hitting.
* The Kansas City Royals acquired outfielder Norichika Aoki from Milwaukee to be their leadoff hitter, which also means the Brewers are likely to shift Ryan Braun to rightfield.
Milwaukee received lefthander Will Smith, who spent most of the past couple seasons shuffling between Kansas City and Triple A Omaha, and between the bullpen and the starting rotation.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore said on a conference call that he envisions Aoki batting at the top of the order, just as he did with the Brewers, which would allow Alex Gordon to slide down into an RBI-producing role. Aoki hit .286 with eight homers, 37 RBI and 20 steals last season.
Aoki, who turns 32 next month, also ranked second in the majors with 40 infield hits, and .339 against lefthanded pitching, the best average by a lefthanded hitter in the big leagues. He struck out just 40 times in 674 plate appearances.
* Free-agent reliever Brian Wilson agreed to terms on a $10 million, 1-year contract to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a person with direct knowledge of the negotiations said.
Wilson, a righthander and the 2010 majors saves leader while with San Francisco, joined the NL West champion Dodgers last season after a second Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery.
* The Boston Red Sox have agreed with reliever Edward Mujica on a 2-year deal, a source told the Associated Press.
* Hall of Famer Dave Winfield has joined the Major League Baseball Players Association staff as a special assistant to new executive director Tony Clark.
Winfield has worked with the San Diego Padres since 2001 as executive vice president/senior adviser.