Brian McCann needs an extension-soon

Jul 08, 2011; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann (16) during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Braves 3-2 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

If this doesn’t scare you as a Braves fan than I’m not sure what can:

@Ken_Rosenthal: Molina average salary of $14M-$15M in new deal with #STLCards would be second-highest ever for catcher behind Mauer at $23M. #MLB

If you haven’t seen my rant on Brian McCann you might need to read it for some context on what this means. If Yadier Molina is going to get a deal in the range of $14-$15 million EACH year then McCann’s price tag just went up, and I wouldn’t be surprised if its pushing $20 mil per year.

Apparently we have around $30-$40 million to spend next off season but after Fred’s writing I am skeptical of how much we will actually be spending. So McCann is either going to pull a Chipper/Hudson and give the Braves a discount, or we are going to have to put a lot more faith in Christian Bethancourt.

McCann has 2012 left on his contract for $11 million after he maxed it out with performance and award clauses. After that, he has a club option for 2013 for $12 million (I am not sure if the option can be increased based on performance). I hope we don’t have to use the option because if we do it is likely because McCann didn’t want to sign long term to a decent deal with the Braves. If Frank Wren feels like Mac is going to go for the money whenever he can, you can bet the team option will be exercised.

The biggest goal for the Braves next off season (or during this season if he will negotiate) is signing their backstop to a long term deal. I want to believe that McCann is the kind of guy who would take a discount for the Braves. He signed immediately in 06 when the Braves took a pretty large financial investment in him (how are ya Frenchy?) but that doesn’t mean he will do it again when he is in the best position ever to get a huge deal.

Their will be a LOT of teams interested in McCann and just like with Pujols and Fielder this year, American League teams will be more willing to give out a long term contract. We have our own mini Albert Pujols situation on our hands now and I don’t feel like trashing my McCann shirt anytime soon. So as that bald guy says, “Let’s make a deal.” At least I think he said that, I haven’t seen Deal or No Deal in a long time.

I am going to leave you with some foreshadowing McCann tweets:

@Chris_Carelli: If Molina’s contract is indeed 5 yrs. $70-75 million McCann, Napoli and M. Montero are really happy too! They get theirs next!

@joe_sheehan: Brian McCann made a lot of money tonight.

@Ben_Duronio: Really interested to see what McCann eventually ends up getting.

Topics: Atlanta Braves, Brian Mccann, Yadier Molina

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  • BCinAlabama

    I just wonder how many more years McCann has behind the plate.McCann has shown no interest in playing another position.I am not sure a long extension would be wise.There is alot of wear and tear on his body over the years, I am sure.Not saying his is done, just concerned about him wearing down.

  • FredOwens

    BC makes an excellent point.  BMac is the best NL/MLB offensive catcher at this point but his defense – while better last year – isn’t close to Molina’s. Being a catcher bangs you up to the point it eventually affects your ability to hit. That beating will weaken his defense too. Mike Piazza hung around as a hitter for a long time buy he was a different body type that BMac. BMac just turned 28 making him 30 in his free agent year. His bat is worth offering him a four year extension at the most and I suspect that anything very far north of the $15M is out of the question simply because it would take 16% of the teams payroll and make keeping high $ arb eligible players like Hanson, Heyward and Freeman very difficult. Offer him 4@60 and see what he says. If he wants to stay he’ll take it. If not he’s gone anyway, bring Bethancort up and keep Ross to teach him.
    See BC we agree sometimes :-)

  • http://www.sabbump.org/ clearwall

    My hatred of Liberty Media will hit an all time high after 2013, i believe. They wont allow us to offer a respectable deal to one of the best players in baseball and we will, yet again, have to rely on a rookie to save us.
    Im really getting sick of this BS, can you tell?

  • Big Bad Bob

    The Braves are in an excellent position whether McCann stays or goes. I would prefer that he stays, but Christian Bethancort is about 2 years away.
    We wouldn’t need Ross to teach Bethancort about defense. He is probably the most advanced catching prospect in the minors (defensively). With his hitting improving, he would be a good option if McCann leaves.
    Would he hit as well as Mc? Probably not. However, if his offense improves as much this year, as it did last year, he may well be ready to fill Mc Cann’s shoes offensively and defensively.
    At least we can hope.

  • BCinAlabama

    @Fred Owens, we agree more than it seems…….Even when we disagree, we agree(to disagree) Hahaha

  • aryanspecial

    @Big Bad Bob. I agree with you and Fred. I’d love to keep McCann. But if doesn’t go insane the next 2 years (talking like .300+, 35+ HR, 110+ RBI) you can’t invest huge money on a catcher when there’s a big talent waiting right behind. That money will be needed for most of our upcoming pitchers and young hitters. McCann’s days are numbered unless he becomes absolute elite at the plate. Yeah he’s a great hitting catcher, but to tie up that kind of money, he needs to bash.

  • leetro

    I think Brian’s career path will be much like Victor Martinez, moving out from behind the plate around age 32-33.  Brian should be able to play an average first base, though his offensive value will plummet with the position change.  I would sign a 5-6 year extension if we didn’t have Freeman, but I don’t see the Braves going more than 4 years, as mentioned below.