Atlanta Braves Remain Interested in Yankees Brian McCann

Brian McCann of the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Brian McCann of the New York Yankees. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Atlanta Braves remain interested in acquiring New York Yankees catcher Brian McCann before the trade deadline, but don’t want to take on his whole contract.

The Braves and Yankees continue to discuss a deal that would send veteran catcher Brian McCann back to his former club. McCann’s roots in Atlanta go all the way back to 2002, when he was selected by the club in the second round of the amateur draft. He came up through the team’s minor league system and made his major league debut with the Braves in 2005.

While he’s been productive for the Yankees, the prime years of McCann’s career were definitely in Atlanta. The backstop was named to seven All Star squads during his nine year run with the Braves. He also took home the Silver Slugger award five times, and even received some MVP votes after his excellent 2010 campaign.

McCann still maintains his family home in Atlanta, so he would presumably be open to a move. His contract does come with full no-trade protection, so if he prefers to stay in New York, the Yankees are likely stuck with him.

The Braves have been awful this year (and look likely to remain so for some time), so adding a 32-year-old expensive veteran at the deadline might seem like an odd move. Rumors suggest that this would be something of a PR move. The team will be moving to a new stadium next season, and are currently short on marketable big league talent to get fans to come out to the ballpark.

It came out that the Yankees were at least listening to offers on McCann Sunday, with the Braves and Rangers listed as the clubs known to have interest. Of course, it was reported that both teams have financial constraints, and would want the Yankees to absorb a considerable among of his salary to facilitate a trade.

New York is said to be looking for a team to take on the entire $34 million owed to McCann over the next two years, and also send quality prospects in return.

Braves beat writer Mark Bownman of reported Monday morning that discussions were ongoing, although the same obstacles to a deal remain in place.

A team as wealthy as the Yankees should be using it’s financial advantage to get the best possible return for McCann. There are fewer and fewer opportunities for team’s with wealth to really flaunt it these days. That would be the smart baseball move. Of course, we know that is not how Hal Steinbrenner and the modern Yankees operate.

New York doesn’t have a huge motivation to move McCann. He’s still healthy and productive, and his contract is not especially onerous for them. There are other ways to get Gary Sanchez playing time if they want to see what he can do. They don’t necessarily need to trade McCann and hand Sanchez the job tomorrow.