MLB Hot Stove: Brian McCann Is a Realistic Option for the New York Yankees

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MLB Hot Stove: Brian McCann Is a Realistic Option for the New York Yankees
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Russell Martin's impending free agency and the New York Yankees' need for an offensive upgrade could lead them in the direction of Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann this offseason.

McCann has a $12 million option for the 2013 season, but the Braves may not be inclined to exercise it after his down season and recent shoulder surgery.

Even if it is not exercised, the Braves could look to work out a more team-friendly deal in the offseason.

ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (Insider required) that the Braves could also just pick up the option and look to trade him to a team like the Texas Rangers or the Yankees.

While Martin did improve in the final months of the regular season, his offensive production simply was not good enough to be in an American League lineup.

McCann may have experienced a down season, but his track record suggests that it likely won't happen again.

Over the course of his eight-year career, McCann owns a line of .279/.351/.475 with 156 home runs. He is a five-time Silver Slugger award winner, as well as a six-time All Star.

His finest season arguably came in 2008, where he hit 23 home runs, drove in 87 runs and compiled a line of .301/.373/.523.

If McCann hits free agency, general manager Brian Cashman should try his best to outbid the Braves. Frank Wren knows McCann's value to the team and its pitching staff, so he'll be working furiously to bring him back.

Should McCann's option be exercised, Cashman should still make a call to Wren to check on his availability. Dealing a few top prospects for a perennial All Star at the catcher position would most certainly be worth the loss.

McCann would help Cashman's goal of becoming "younger and better," so it's a move that must be made if the opportunity presents itself.

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