Found April 15, 2013 on
MLB Injury News:
Have you heard of Evan Gattis yet? If not you will. Also, if not, you haven't been watching baseball. He is only ranked second in the National League in OPS behind, you guessed it, another Brave Justin Upton. Gattis incredible start to the season has made many forget about Brian McCann. You know, the six-time All-Star who has been catching games for the Braves for the last eight seasons. So when McCann is healthy, what does the team do with Gattis.
The question led to a brief Twitter discussion with some Braves fans, one who suggested the team would struggle to trade McCann if they decided to go that route. But is that true? Is McCann's injury such that a team would not show enough interest to give the Braves something solid in return? It's a good question and one Braves' GM Frank Wren is probably asking himself at this very moment.
McCann is recovering from right shoulder surgery. He underwent the procedure in October of last year and is hoping to be ready by May. However, the Braves are not rushing him back. They have the luxury of taking their time as Gattis continues to rake. But make no mistake, McCann is the club's starting catcher. If he is healthy and ready to go, Gattis will quickly find a spot on the bench. This is where the thoughts of a trade slowly start creeping into people's minds.
Here's what a team would get in McCann if they traded for him: 1) .279/.351/.475 career line 2) All-Star potential every year 3) Solid defense 4) Questions.
The team that potentially trades for McCann would have to be comfortable with the questions that are sure to come with McCann's return. Can he regain the productivity he's shown over the last eight years, or will he continue along the same path of mediocrity he showed in 2012? Of course, much of McCann's struggles in 2012 can be tied to the shoulder. In theory, a repaired shoulder will allow him to regain his form.
McCann is 29 years old. Generally, you'd think that was right in the prime of a player's career. For a catcher, though, 29 is like 50. Catching 130-plus games per year is rough on the body. McCann is a free agent after this season, so on top of concerns about his ability to produce long-term, a team trading for him will have to feel pretty comfortable with their ability to sign him to an extension. All combined, the issues surrounding McCann probably will make it difficult for the Braves to trade him.
In the end, McCann will likely come back, Gattis will be relegated to back-up duty, and the club will play wait and see to decide if they will extend McCann or let him walk via free agency.
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