Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports that Brian McCann has cleared waivers. The Atlanta Braves — and any of the 28 other MLB clubs — are free to work a post-deadline trade with the Yankees for McCann’s services.
As we know, McCann is a catcher. As we also know, the Braves are in dire need of a catcher. Is this a return match made in heaven?
Things to ponder: McCann, who’ll turn 33 next February, is under contract for $17 million for both the 2017 and 2018 seasons, which a vesting option for $15 million in 2019, by which time he’d be 35. McCann was mostly terrific over nine Braves seasons; he has been less terrific in 2 2/3 years as a Yankee, which figured. The aging curve on catchers is steep.
The Yankees appear to have no great need of McCann as a catcher. They have a fine catching prospect in Gary Sanchez. They’ve sold off many veterans — Aroldis Chapman, Andrew Miller, Carlos Beltran, Ivan Nova — and McCann’s would be another big salary off the books. If they keep him, it would probably be as either a first baseman — Mark Teixeira will retire as season’s end — or a DH.
The Braves would surely want the Yankees to keep paying much if not most of McCann’s salary to take him off their hands. The Yankees, in rebuild mode, would surely want prospects in return for McCann. The Braves wouldn’t be crazy about the idea of parting with prospects. They could simply go buy a slightly younger catcher — Wilson Ramos or Matt Wieters — as a free agent come November and lose only a draft pick. (Which they wouldn’t like doing, either. But you can’t have everything.)
There’s your scenario. I plan to write a bit more about this later today, but for now I’ll ask y’all: If you’re the Braves, do you try to bring back B-Mac, or you do let this seeming opportunity slide? Thanks in advance for any/all input.