Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Should The Yankees Target Brian McCann?

The Braves have been without Brian McCann since last October when he opted to get shoulder surgery and miss the beginning of the 2013 season. Every veterans worst nightmare is beginning to come true as McCann sits on the DL the young guys are taking his place and really making a name for themselves quickly. With McCann down in Rome in the Braves minor league system rehabbing and getting ready to return to the big leagues it makes me wonder if he will be available in a trade sooner rather than later and if the Yankees would be interested.

Brian McCann is a left handed power hitting catcher that has a stroke that was absolutely made for the New Yankees Stadium. McCann has also been known for his durability playing in no less than 121 games in his eight season career with the Braves not counting his partial rookie campaign where he only got into 59 games. His 121 game season was in 2012 where he battled shoulder issues all season long but still managed 20 home runs and 67 RBI's with a triple slash of .230/.300/.399. McCann is a six time All Star that takes his walks, calls good games behind the plate, hits for power, and would be a rental player for any team with this being his contract season. Is the beloved Braves home town boy a dead man walking in a Braves uniform with all these accolades backing him?

Evan Gattis is making quite the impression on manager Fredi Gonzalez in his rookie campaign filling in for the injured Brian McCann. Evan Gattis has played in a total of 21 games getting 84 plate appearances and has put up a triple slash of .250/.310/.566 with a OPS of 875. Gattis also has 6 HR's, 16 RBI's, and 6 doubles on his resume so far for 2013. In basically an 1/8th of the season Gattis has already accumulated a 0.8 WAR so that would put him on pace to have a 6.4 WAR by seasons end in a perfect world, something that Brian McCann has never done. McCann came closest in 2008 when he put up a 5.5 WAR that season for the Braves. The Braves love his glove, love his game calling, love his throwing arm, love his bat, and love his team friendly league minimum $490 K salary and it would seem love him more then Brian McCann right now.

Gerald Laird signed a two year deal worth $3 million to be the Braves back up catcher this past off season and has filled David Ross' shoes pretty well. In nine games and 33 plate appearances Gerald has a triple slash of .333/.419/.407 with an OPS of .827 with 5 RBI's as a back up. Gerald has also accumulated a 0.2 WAR thus far in this season in not even a 1/16th of the season, using games played, and seems to be far exceeding expectations. While I don't expect Laird to stay anywhere near his current .333 average, his career average is .245, or his .415 OBP, with a career .305 on base, at his age 33 season but weirder things have happened, especially playing for a team like the Atlanta Braves who seem to get the absolute most out of every player they bring in.

With the Braves payroll probably at their absolute max with the Upton brothers acquisitions and an arguably better option already seasoned and here the Braves will probably be looking to move Brian McCann and his $12 million rental contract this July. If Brian can come back healthy from his shoulder surgery and prove that he has not lost too much off the throwing arm or the swing I can see the Braves making a move but would the Yankees be interested? Would the Yankees have the pieces to even make it work? With the Braves already currently having Jonny Venters, Cristhian Martinez, and Brandon Beachy on the disabled list an Adam Warren or basically anyone not named Mark Montgomery or Jose Campos would be interesting to the Braves one would think. The Braves also seem like they could use some infield and outfield depth making guys like Corban Joseph, David Adams, or even a Rob Segedin look attractive to Atlanta. Just for the record I never said I was for or against the trade but this just seems like the kind of move that the Yankees would make getting an established big leaguer for a steal. Then again the Braves don't necessarily need to trade McCann while Gattis has plenty of options left and it would not exactly be a salary dump either so who knows how the negotiations would go. I have the utmost confidence in Francisco Cervelli and cannot see even the Yankees having a $12 million back up catcher so I can't say I expect McCann to don pinstripes this season but it also wouldn't surprise me if he did...

Just a quick blurb here to end this. I would not mind adding Brian to the Yankees Wives & Girlfriends section... I'm just saying!

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