Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors: Keeping Brian McCann Smart Move for Team Chemistry
The Texas Rangers reportedly asked about McCann's availability, as noted by Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com: "The Rangers...checked in with the Atlanta Braves on catcher Brian McCann, a free-agent-to-be who might be of interest to them for next season."
For the Braves, letting go of McCann just doesn't make any sense.
The team currently has a stranglehold on the NL East and a great shot at securing the top seed in the National League heading into the playoffs. As of Tuesday evening at 7:00 ET, Atlanta was nine games ahead of the Washington Nationals and 11.5 games ahead of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Featuring a rock-solid starting pitching staff and decent offense, Atlanta is in a groove heading into the final third of the season.
McCann, though not a flashy player, has been a big part of the team's success this season.
Batting .284 with a respectable on-base percentage of .368, the catcher has hit 13 bombs and 10 doubles, and has earned 26 walks, scored 26 runs and driven in another 35. Additionally, he's an excellent defender behind the plate who works well with the team's pitching staff.
There's no reason to rock the boat, so to speak, by trading away such a critical member of the team while things are going so well.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the 2013 season, McCann and the Braves have agreed to wait until the season is over to attempt any further contract talks, as noted by Jim Duquette of MLB.com:
in regards to Brian McCann and contract talks "we've spoken and both sides have decided to wait until the end of the year" to talk further— Jim Duquette (@Jim_Duquette) January 6, 2013
Some have suggested that the Braves should try to get something for the catcher before he hits the market this offseason, but it would be wrong to assume he's a goner next year.
Keeping McCann instead of trading him was a _____ decision by the Braves.
Trading him because he could sign elsewhere would be a foolhardy decision based on pure fear.
The Braves are smart to keep McCann this season, as letting him go could potentially mess with the team's excellent chemistry and balance.
There's no reason to make a knee-jerk reaction, and thankfully, the franchise understands it has a good thing going this year.
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