The direct thought of Brian McCann playing in Atlanta in either 2016 or 2017 should be erased from any proactive yet illogical imaginations.Throughout the past two weeks, after New York Yankees’ catcher Brian McCann survived the August 1 trade deadline in pinstripes, everyone has been forcing themselves to entertain the idea of the backstop heading back to his former team, particularly after he cleared waivers.
With the unbelievably prolific emergence of rookie phenom Gary Sanchez, resulting in a limited role for the 10-year veteran, fans have desired a scenario in which the organization shows McCann the nearest exit.
In theory, if you push the idea, you can somehow come up with a situation where the Yankee catcher packs his bags and books a flight back to his home state. In reality, the deal makes no sense whatsoever.
Take the deadline deals, for example. While most fans were pleased with the acquisition of Chicago Cubs’ top prospect Gleyber Torres, many were baffled given that he plays shortstop. Everyone was diluted by the fact that the Yankees have a stellar shortstop in the bigs, Didi Gregorius, and a top prospect, Jorge Mateo, at the position currently residing in the farm.
Let’s put it this way: you can never have enough quality depth, particularly at some of the most demanding positions on the diamond — shortstop and catcher.
With that said, the same applies here. Not only is the deal insufficient on Atlanta’s end but it does not fit with the direction New York is currently heading in.
McCann brings the Yankees value on multiple fronts, obvious through the manner in which he carries himself and his skillset on the field.
Sure, Sanchez is off to a historically magnificent start, but mentorship will be needed, particularly when he hits his first real rough patch. Growing pains are part of the deal, and the team will desperately need McCann — who is under contract through 2018 — on standby.
One of the better defensive catchers in the game, his rich experience of the wear and tear grind of a 162-game season is invaluable. Additionally, his heart and passion, his winning mystique, and his fierce “no nonsense” presence will be vital when the club begins to seriously contend with inexperienced youth.
Despite taking a side role, this does not eliminate his impact as a player. Let’s just say a seven-time all-star and six-time silver slugger at the position is a formidable asset to have as “insurance.” He has proven time and time again his distinct ability to handle a pitching staff, shut down a running game, and block the baseball effectively.
With that said, the key factor here is “six-time silver slugger.” McCann is a more than capable designated hitter, likely popping 25 to 30 home runs if penciled in the lineup every day. Moreover, he is not an exclusive DH. If the Yankees need him to catch, play first, or merely ride the pine, he would not have to be a constant in one role and one situation, blockading other potential candidates — a la Alex Rodriguez and Carlos Beltran (2016).
That production in the middle of the lineup, complemented by the likes of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, and whoever else comes along — or carries over — into 2017, will allow for massive outputs and a purely scary bunch to navigate.
Yes, you get the general idea. McCann does not hurt the Yanks — unlike others — in the midst of a rebuild. He only provides depth, poise, and production.
What does he fail to provide? A meaningful addition that makes sense for the Atlanta Braves come next year.
As everyone knows by now, the organization will abandon Turner Field at the commencement of 2017 and move into their revamped, luxurious new ballpark, SunTrust Park.
With an inaugural season comes the expectation of some form of promise. With that expectation thrown in the trash for a currently horrendous Braves team, fans merely want to see progress.
Bringing in a catcher — whose best days are behind him — typically used to catalyzing and demonstrating leadership on winning teams is sheer nonsense.
The Braves need box office players who will put up substantial numbers and sell tickets, not a final piece to a winning team — what McCann essentially is.
A player like the Yankee backstop helps a team trying to win now, or two years down the road at the very least.
Barring dramatic alterations in the National League landscape, the Braves will not be a legitimate contender for quite some time. They do, in fact, have a demand at the catcher position, but not for a veteran catcher of any sort.
Atlanta needs youth. To be more specific, they need quality youth. An aging presence — for catching standards — who does not have the DH option in a National League park will be a waste for the organization and the fans. In other words, there is absolutely zero excitement there.
For those who want to push McCann out the door and view Atlanta as an attraction simply because it is his former team:
- When has McCann expressed a desire to leave New York?
- When has McCann expressed a desire to go back to Atlanta?
- There have been no concrete reports linking the Yankees and Braves.
- Why would the Yankees eat money to squander a valuable asset?
You may want it to happen but logically, financially, statistically, and morally, the deal is preposterous, faulty, and irrational.