Brian McCann has been rumored to be leaving the Atlanta Braves for quite some time. Even before the beginning of the 2013 MLB season, there was talk of who the Braves everyday catcher would be in 2014 and it wasn’t going to be McCann. That could have been surprising for some but with the all-star catcher going into free agency; there is little chance that the Braves will give him the large contract that he deserves. More than that, they really do not need to give him such a contract.
McCann has meant a great deal to the Atlanta area and the Braves teams while he has been with them but the simple fact is that they do not need him anymore. They certainly do not need him enough to warrant giving him the contract he has coming his way. For sure McCann is going to get a lot of money from someone and for sure he deserves it but it will come from someone else.
The Braves have several options at the catcher position. They have Gerald Laird for another season or two at least and he was a great back-up and bench player this season. They have the young up and comer Christian Bethancourt who might turn out to be a great defensive catcher at the MLB level. Most of all of course the main catcher for the Braves next year should be this season’s Rookie of the Year candidate Evan Gattis.
The combination of Gattis and Laird or even Laird and Bethancourt with Gattis sometimes catching and sometimes playing the outfield like they did this season would be more than enough to make up the difference. The best way would be for Gattis to be the everyday catcher with one day off each time around the starting rotation or maybe two here and there. He would be very possibly an acceptable replacement for McCann’s offensive contributions. We all love McCann but his time with the Braves is at an end.