It has been widely discussed how important a healthy Brian McCann is to the success of the 2013 Atlanta Braves. If they want to have a good season and stand out among most other MLB teams, they need McCann to show up and put up numbers. He probably will put up decent numbers because first of all he should be healthy. Also, he is going into the last year of his contract which usually magically brings out extra effort in ballplayers.
What is the problem for the Braves that looms? Christian Bethancourt isn’t exactly having a great time of it in the winter leagues. That is only a real issue because he is being groomed to take over the catcher position next season for the Braves. That means as well that they are already planning on not being able to resign McCann. Bethancourt has had offensive struggles off and on for the past couple of seasons in the minors as well. What happens if he becomes one of the many dud prospects that come out each year?
He could snap out of his performance troubles that make him look like anything but a top catcher for a team that relies heavily on that position for power. Also, he could not snap out of it. What if he has yet another bad year this year in the minors? With the Braves already planning ahead on McCann, does that make him a trade option in a season when he is supposed to be the team’s catalyst offensively? They could get another catching prospect for him for sure if Bethancourt continues to struggle. It seems ridiculous to consider but if the future golden boy at catcher doesn’t start to act like he is who they think he is, anything could happen.