Brian McCann, the long-time catcher for the Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros, signed a contract with the Braves on November 26, 2018. Reports are showing he signed a modest one year, $2 million deal with the Braves.
McCann is a native of Georgia and was drafted by the Braves in 2002. He spent three years working his way up through the minor league system before being called up during the wave of “Baby Braves” in 2005. He spent a total of nine seasons with the Braves, slashing a decent .276/.349/.468 during his tenure. He left for the Yankees in 2014 and spent three seasons there before being traded to the Astros in 2017. While in Houston, McCann was an integral part of the 2017 World Series run with the Astros.
McCann will slot in as a platoon catcher with Tyler Flowers for the 2018 season. However, the Braves may not be done looking for their catcher of the future just yet.
The Braves have also signed Josh Donaldson to a one year, $23 million deal on November 26, 2018. Donaldson, returning from injury this past season, was traded to the Indians in the second half of 2018 and slashed .280/.400/.520 in just 16 games with the Tribe. This one year deal is seen as a “prove it” deal with the Braves.
Donaldson adds some major pop to the Braves lineup while also providing protection for their superstar Freddie Freeman in the middle of the lineup. Projected lineup for the Braves in 2019 is as follows:
2B – Ozzie Albies
LF – Ronald Acuña Jr.
1B – Freeman
3B – Donaldson
CF – Ender Inciarte
C – Flowers/McCann
RF – Adam Duvall (pending other FA or trade deals)
SS – Dansby Swanson
This is a lineup capable of hitting for power that the Braves haven’t seen since the playoff teams of the early 2010s. The Braves were able to bolster their lineup without giving up any prospects. Braves GM Alex Anthopolous should consider this a win-win; the future is bright for the up and coming Braves.
Photo courtesy of Mike Zarilli, Getty Images & USA Today.