NEW YORK _ They had flowers for his wife. They had Onesies for his baby.
For Brian McCann, they had 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.
On Thursday afternoon, the Yankees unveiled their new blue-ribbon acquisition. They will pay McCann $85 million for the next five 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 years.
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 just eight homers.
McCann hit 20 during his age-29 season. Now he has a short porch in right field for his age-30 season – a porch tailor-made for left-handed bats.
"This is a real perfect fit," Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. "And hopefully he'll have a long productive career here that continues with the Yankees."
First baseman Mark Teixeira 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 center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a seven-year, $153 million pact.
Cashman made it clear the team has no plans on closing its checkbook. Both Cashman and Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner made a point to emphasize they still need more hitting. Both men stressed that staying under the $189 million luxury tax threshold was less a directive than a goal.
"This year we have to be active," Cashman said. "We have a lot of needs to fill. So you see what we've added here, but it cannot be the only piece."
The team remains engaged in a high-stakes standoff with second baseman Robinson Cano. According to a report by ESPN Deportes, Cano was flying out to visit the Seattle Mariners on Thursday. The Mariners, according the report, were prepared to offer Cano a 10-year deal worth somewhere between $230 and $240 million.
"Well, look, we're still talking," Yankees principal owner Hal Steinbrenner said. "Nobody's giving up. We're still talking, but obviously we're a decent distance apart. So we're just going to have to see, day by day. That's all we can do."
As for pitching, Cashman is convinced Hiroki Kuroda wants to return to the mound next season, but the Yankees have not come to terms with the 38-year-old righty.
The Yankees are also expected to bid for Japanese starMasahiro Tanaka, a 25-year-old right-hander who could be the best available starting pitcher to hit the market this winter if a new posting agreement can be ironed out between Major League Baseball and the Nippon Baseball League.