Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann becomes a free agent at the end of the 2013 season and with the Braves’ newly acquired quality depth at the position, it is likely he will sign elsewhere in the offseason.
McCann has been a staple on the Braves’ roster for the past eight full seasons; he’s never played for another team. Since he’s played for Atlanta, he’s racked up 176 home runs and over 1,000 hits with a career .824 OPS. No one is complaining about McCann’s offensive, or even defensive production for that matter, but the Braves have a lot of young talent to take his place and at a much cheaper price.
Since Evan Gattis arrived at spring training, the Braves have been confident in his ability to take charge as a starting catcher. In 299 at-bats this season, Gattis has hit 19 home runs and has accrued 57 RBIs even though he often plays as a pinch hitter or low in the lineup.
The biggest cause for the eventual departure of McCann is the Braves’ highly touted prospect whom was just called up to the majors last week, Christian Bethancourt. The 22-year old from Panama has been working his way through the minors developing his bat and his defensive prowess from behind the plate.
With Bethancourt and Gattis available for catcher, and at bottom-of-the-barrel prices, it makes little sense to re-sign Brian McCann in the offseason. It will be a sad day for sure, but that’s part of the game, and these types of strategies are how the Braves organization is able to contend year in and year out.
Hopefully B-Mac will end up in the AL as a designated hitter so the Braves won’t have to face him very much; regardless, thanks for the memories McCann, you’ll be missed.