MLBTR’s Tim Dierks is breaking the news with this simple-looking tweet today:
Not that there was any doubt, but the Braves are making a qualifying offer to McCann.
— timdierkes (@timdierkes) November 4, 2013
This means two things:
1. The Braves will be offering a perfunctory $14.1 million contract to Brian – the minimum definition for a “Qualifying Offer”. This is a procedural move intended to secure the opportunity for Atlanta to receive a compensatory draft pick in next June’s draft (somewhere near the 32-36th position overall, exact pick TBD). This compensation pick will kick in for the Braves when:
a. McCann declines the Qualifying Offer, as expected.
b. McCann signs a free agent contract with another club – also as expected, given that he is the top catcher available this Winter.
2. Any hope of negotiating a contract extension to keep Brian McCann in a Braves uniform – though technically still possible* – is now done for all practical purposes. Closed. Kaput. This effectively ends Brian’s stint with the organization, which began in 2005.
* – it’s kinda like still being mathematically alive for the playoffs: 14 games out with 15 to play.
McCann was drafted by Atlanta in 2002 as a 2nd Round pick out of Duluth (GA) High School. Jeff Francoeur was the first rounder that year (Parkview High School in Lilburn, GA). He broke into the majors on June 10th, 2005 – primarily as the personal catcher for John Smoltz.
Brian’s last regular season plate appearance was against Philadelphia on September 26th. He struck out. Likewise, in his final playoff AB, he struck out looking against Brian Wilson in the 8th inning of the final game vs. Los Angeles. His final Atlanta hit was part of a 2 for 4 day on September 22nd against the Cubs. His final extra-base hit came on September 18 vs. Washington, and his last Braves homer was September 13th against the Padres.
His first homer came in his second major league game; his first playoff AB also was a homer (the first player in Braves franchise history to accomplish this). He has been a 7-time All-Star and 5-time Silver Slugger winner. His career hitting averages are .277/.350/.473/.823 to date. Among the more memorable… kinda… moments for Brian were this video of his first career triple (from April 2010). It’s priceless.
The 2013 playoffs were not good to McCann: lots of strikeouts/no hits at all over the five games against the Dodgers, with a .188 OBP. That turned out to be fairly important as the hitters around him (Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson, along with Freddie Freeman, hit .357/.438/.313 respectively).
Nonetheless, we wish you a fond farewell, Brian. And you’d better not sign with the Nationals or Phillies.