Sep 20, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann hits a RBI single in the 9th inning of their game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The $100 million Catcher?

An Andrew Marchand blog post on quotes an unnamed major league General Manager as suggesting that Brian McCann‘s next contract could be worth a robust $100m over the next six years.

The context of this quote appears to include Brian’s transition to DH and/or first base over the latter stages of that future contract, obviously conditioned on an American League club making the offer.  Marchand goes on to mention his own suggestion that the Yankees be in on the bidding for McCann’s services.

A six-year deal would extend through Brian’s 35th birthday year, as he’ll turn 30 next February.  A $100m price tag would have an average annual value (AAV) of $16.67m.  An AL club would be must better positioned to make such an offer, given the availability of the DH position.   This presents an obvious built-in disadvantage for any NL team in need of his services – the Braves included – as Brian transitions into his next decade of life… the time period in which catchers tend to decline rapidly in performance.

It is widely expected that the Braves will present Brian and his agent (BB Abbott) with the perfunctory Qualifying Offer – a one-year deal at or near $14.1m – and then they shake hands as he entertains multi-year AL offers this coming off-season…while the Braves collect an extra draft pick in the compensation round (after round 1) next June.  But this $100m suggestion represents one of the first big numbers published as to what Brian might expect to end up with.

Such a deal is hardly without precedent:  Joe Mauer is the poster child for catcher contracts – as Marchand pointed out:  $184 million over eight years.  More recently, the yardstick for McCann had been Yadier Molina‘s 5×15 ($75 million) contract with St. Louis. But the top ‘non-DH catching’ contract currently out there belongs to the Giants’ Buster Posey:  9 years/$164 million.

Both the Giants and Cardinals managed to lock up their catching stars into their mid-30′s.  Molina is 31 – his deal runs through 2017; Posey is 26; he’ll be 34 when that deal ends.  The Braves went only “halfway” with McCann – overall, a 7 year deal worth $41.3 million after picking up the 2013 option.

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  • Matthew Jones

    Let’s have the Braves offer 10 years $100m. That’s work, right?! (Yes, I’m being sarcastic. Although if 1B weren’t so settled with Freeman, I would be working towards something for McCann with the idea that he’d move to 1st after a few years. Oh well.)

  • Brandon_Woodworth

    People said the same about Bourn last year. McCann is elite, but not $100MM hype. I wouldn’t be surprised to see 5 years/$80MM with an option, though.

    • Matthew Jones

      I think you’re right. I think that GMs are going to be real wary of McCann post-30, especially since he’s somewhat considered ‘injury-prone’ (although I think that that moniker is ill-deserved considering how much he did play this year after coming back from shoulder surgery).

      • fireboss

        Carps numbers are right for taxes. The cost of living in NY is almost double that of DFW. Incidentally it’s about 14% cheaper to live in DFW than in Duluth GA. The Bmac family would find NY 60% more expensive than Duluth so if the numbers are considered – Pujols didn’t and actually lost money on the first 5 years of his LA deal compared the the St Louis offer – The Yankes would have to pay stupid money like the 5@20 that GM was talking about to make it a financially sound move. Grienke actually interviewed the Dodgers front office before signing he’s just a different guy that way. Back to Mac.
        Mac is a southerner and would quite likely enjoy DFW a lot more than New York or Boston. If the chatter around here is any indication the Rangers have him at teh top of the list and they have big big new TV contract so 5 @ 18 isn’t out of their range. The Rangers also have a place for him at first base, Moreland isn’t a fixture there. I’d bet on Rangers if I had to put money somewhere.
        Mac would hit 30 and drive in 90 in Arlington with it’s right field wind tunnel and that has to be a factor for him too. If he wants to be in the conversation at retirement his numbers have to improve and stay big

        • Chris Headrick

          Cost of living is somewhat relative when you make that much money, although that all depends on debt, and how you choose to live. Since most people tend to live slightly above what they make, unless their frugal, then certainly cost of living is somewhat valid. In the end, from what I’ve read of BMac and his relationship with his wife, where they want to be will play a role in Bmac’s decision, whatever the offers. I agree I think we’ll see him southerly, and Texas is highly likely.

    • carpengui

      Sounds about right to me, though looking at the math (like taxes), 5×16 in Texas isn’t too far off from 5×17.5 in New York City or Los Angeles. Of course Josh Hamilton and Zack Greinke didn’t look at it that way…