Tuesday, September 3, 2013
McCann as a free agent
By Jason Catania
Brian McCann has spent every one of his nine-year career as a member of the Atlanta Braves, but that could change in a few months.
McCann, who will turn 30 prior to the start of the 2014 season, is slated to become a free agent for the first time, and he'll be one of the more sought-after names on the open market because of his offensive prowess and his ability to play a premium defensive position.
Despite missing the first few weeks of 2013 while recovering from shoulder surgery, McCann is on pace for what would be his sixth straight 20-homer season (and seventh in his past eight). That type of power from the difficult-to-fill catcher spot makes McCann all the more appealing.
David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution recently speculated that some team -- other than the Braves -- will be able and willing to offer McCann something in the neighborhood of what the St. Louis Cardinals gave Yadier Molina before the start of the 2012 season. That was $75 million over five years.
Due to his advancing age, average at best defense and recent surgical procedure, though, there are enough risks to inking McCann to a long-term deal to remain as a full-time backstop. The prevailing thought, then, is that he may fit best with an American League club who can split his duties both behind the plate and at designated hitter in order to get the most out of his bat.
With catching in such short supply, there should be plenty of AL teams who could be after McCann, including the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. The Sox, though, might not be able to fit in McCann as easily due to the presence of David Ortiz at DH.
One other possibility in the AL could be the Baltimore Orioles, who have Matt Wieters as a very solid all-around catcher to handle the majority of the duties, but who have struggled to fill their DH spot.
As for the National League, the Braves could always keep McCann around, with 2013 rookie Evan Gattis easing into a larger role behind the dish. And Scott Spratt of Baseball Info Solutions writes for ESPN Insider that the Los Angeles Dodgers might make some sense, too.
Over the weekend. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe said McCann's power lefthanded bat would be ideal for the Yankees, Texas and even Boston if the Red Sox don't re-sign Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
FanGraphs' Dave Cameron sees the Red Sox as the perfect landing spot, and here's why:
Dave CameronMcCann in Boston?
"the Sox already have McCann's former platoon partner in David Ross, whom they signed from the Braves this past winter. McCann and Ross form a formidable left-right tandem, and Ben Cherington could get the band back together with a contract that lures McCann to Boston. Although questions about his health are legitimate, McCann can produce enough to justify a $15 million paycheck even while spending parts of the year on the DL."