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One GM’s guess: Brian McCann could get a $100 million deal

Oct 15, 2013, 4:22 PM EDT

Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Been nice knowin’ ya on the Braves, Brian, but if this is true you ain’t coming back to Atlanta:

Brian McCann could receive a deal for six years and $100 million, an MLB GM told ESPN New York on Tuesday. The GM reasoned that McCann is a top-five catcher and could transition to first and DH toward the end of the deal.

You’d have to think that the Yankees will be in the bidding given how much of a tire fire their catching situation was this past season.

McCann gets more ink lately because of the run-ins with Carlos Gomez and Jose Fernandez, but the dude has hit .277/.350/.473 for his career, averaging 26 homers and 97 RBI per 162 games over the course of his career while being a competent everyday receiver. $100 million sounds like a lot, but McCann’s skill set doesn’t grow on trees.

  1. gmagic9044 - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    I’d have to think the Rangers are going to be hot on McCann…and never count out the “mystery team” (which undoubtedly will be the Angels).

  2. alang3131982 - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:32 PM

    He’s going to be a 30-year-old catcher….that seems crazy.

    • biasedhomer - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      Not too crazy, some one will pay him for past performances, just pay that it isn’t your team.

  3. uyf1950 - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:33 PM

    I think there will be a lot of teams “in” on McCann. However I think 6 years/$100MM is a huge stretch.

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:35 PM

      Not necessarily, if he transitions to 1B/DH in his final two years the contract won’t be as bad as some of the other stuff we’ve been reading about the last few seasons.

      • uyf1950 - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        Maybe but I think with 3 other catchers also FA’s Ruiz, AJ Pierzynski and Salty, that are fairly decent (not in the same league as McCann) some of the teams that are looking at McCann might opt for a less expensive option. We’ll see.

      • dlf9 - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        How many catchers in their early to mid 30s transitioned to another position and kept their offensive skills? Maybe Joe Torre, but for each one like him, you have a Mike Piazza or Johnny Bench whose offense was gone with the knees. That is why I think it likely that Joe Mauer catches less frequently already and will be off the position entirely soon.

      • paperlions - Oct 15, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        The problem is that he’ll have to hit at his peak career average while playing 1B/DH to be an average offensive 1B/DH. What is the likelihood that he’ll still be hitting that well after catching for so long that he physically can’t catch anymore? Could happen, of course. Wouldn’t bet on it.

        Right now though, he is a very good offensive and defensive catcher. The years will be a problem, not the AAV.

        For comparison, Molina’s deal (5/$57M) started this year. He is a year and a half older than McCann and had caught almost exactly the same number of innings prior to his deal starting as McCann has….so McCann has similar “catcher-miles” and is 6 months younger than Molina was….obviously, McCann has a much longer track record of offensive production than Molina did when he signed his extension. But signing a guy with that many miles on his knees to 6 years @ $16M+/year is risky….because once you move him off catcher, much of his value is gone (and it is likely that his offense will be declining along with his defense).

      • stex52 - Oct 16, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        I couldn’t remember if this was year one or two of Molina’s contract because I knew that the last year of his last contract was bought up. So this is year one, huh, Paper? Pretty respectable. A WS run probably pays for the whole thing.

      • jobber33 - Oct 17, 2013 at 8:34 PM

        I love McCann but he has never played first in the majors and to late in his career to start now. The Braves should’ve let him play some games at first like Minnesota and SF are doing with Posey and Mauer.

  4. AlmostForty - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    I see someone’s been talking to Ruin Tomorrow Sooner.

  5. yankeepunk3000 - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    It might seem like a stretch but not by that much. If he does move from catcher to first basemen the final two years then it’s not a bad deal at all. About 17 per year isn’t to bad for a guy who has been one of the best offensive catchers the past decade AND defensively he is top 5. I hope the yankees do think about it and when he’s in his final 2 years of the contract Tex is gone so just move him over. Love McCann guy can play with the best of them.

    • paperlions - Oct 15, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      The problem is that if his knees make him move to 1B, it is unlikely his knees will allow him to be the same offensive player too. Plus, his career numbers are great for a catcher but average for a 1B. A 35 and 36 yr old McCann at 1B is likely to be a well below average player.

  6. baseballisboring - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:56 PM

    I wouldn’t rule it out. He’s in kind of a weird place…in recent years there have only been a few guys like Mauer and Posey who were good enough to get mega-deals. But after that top 5 or so there’s a huge dropoff. So he’s not worth Buster Posey money but he’ll get a hell of a lot more than say, Russell Martin. I know I’m pointing out the obvious but he’s kind of a hard guy to compare as far as contracts go. I’d bet the under, but probably only slightly.

  7. chiadam - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    Not to mention the salary he gets for his role as Baseball Conduct Sheriff.

  8. onbucky96 - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    $100million? Who’d they ask, Scott Boras? SMH…

  9. proudlycanadian - Oct 15, 2013 at 4:59 PM

    Is he better than Molina? Should he get a better contract than Molina? I doubt it.

    • paperlions - Oct 15, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      McCann is a FA. Molina was not.

      Baseball contracts are not based only on ability, but primarily by the market.

  10. yankeepunk3000 - Oct 15, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    Paper have you seen Tex’s bat production for the Yankees. believe me A 35 year old McCann will do better then Mark will now.

    • paperlions - Oct 15, 2013 at 6:05 PM

      Sorry. Don’t believe you. Teixeira had a horrible wrist injury. Wrists are pretty important to hitting.

      5 year is a LONG time in catcher years, there is almost no way to predict how bad the decline will be.

      Since 1980, there have been a total of 6 catchers who put up an above average wRC+ after turning 35. Posada had a 125 (roughly McCann’s career average). All the other guys are between 109 and 100. The other 15 catchers (many of which were not only catching anymore) that put up 1000 PAs after the age of 35 were below average to horrible hitters after that age.

      Being 35 yrs old in MLB is hard. There was a total of 10 everyday players 35 or older in MLB this year.

  11. mediocrebob - Oct 15, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    How much did he lose after his post season showing?

  12. tonyc920 - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:20 PM

    If a 6yr / $100 million deal come his way, I can guarantee you whoever that team is will be crying in 4 years and trying to get rid of that contract. He’s a very good catcher, not a Y. Molina though. PaperLions said it best, the knees are an issue with catchers and the reason they move them to 1st base is because they want his bat for a few more years. I’m curious how this pans out this offseason.
    I’ll assume the Braves don’t want him back ?? Because he’s not worth that kind of cash, period.

  13. pastabelly - Oct 16, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    If Salty and McAnn are both free agents, it could impact what both get since there is more than one free agent option and Salty is 28 with less mileage.

  14. jm91rs - Oct 17, 2013 at 8:18 PM

    It really seems like the only teams that should be interested in big dollar long term deals for aging catchers are American League teams. Has McCann ever played 1st? It’s not something you get great at overnight. Anyone signing him long term needs to be thinking dh in a few years.

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