How the Loss of Brian McCann Could Impact the Atlanta Braves

Daniel KockContributor IIINovember 21, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - OCTOBER 04:  Mike Minor #36 and Brian McCann #16 of the Atlanta Braves speak on the mound in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during Game Two of the National League Division Series at Turner Field on October 4, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Atlanta Braves saw Tim Hudson sign with the San Francisco Giants a few days ago, and catcher Brian McCann also looks to have one foot out the door.

The bidding for the 29-year-old catcher should heat up in the upcoming days and weeks.

Brian McCann expected to start visiting teams he's talking with in the next 2 weeks;NYY/TEX/BOS among more than half-dozen teams interested.

— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) November 20, 2013

While fans knew losing McCann was likely to happen at the end of the 2013 season, that doesn't mean the loss of a seven-time All-Star won't be felt.

And his loss will likely be felt more in the clubhouse than on the field.

After McCann, the longest-tenured positional player on the Braves roster is the veteran Jason Heyward at 24 years old.

That's hard to fathom, as it seems Heyward just burst on the scene with a home run in his first career at-bat.

However, that's the position the Braves find themselves in, and that aspect of the McCann signing could have the biggest impact.

In the end, talent and production usually win out, but it's hard to ignore the importance of veterans in the clubhouse over a 162-game season.

Fans saw an example of McCann sticking up for his teammates after Carlos Gomez disrespected them after hitting a home run at Turner Field.

It was McCann who put a stop to the shenanigans by coming out in front of home plate to let Gomez know his displeasure.

Those are the things that teammates respect.

Still, it would not be giving McCann enough credit as a player to say the clubhouse would be the only area the Braves would miss McCann.

McCann has been consistently productive as a Brave.

He's hit 20 or more home runs in seven of his eight full seasons in Atlanta and has driven in 70 or more runs in six of those seasons.

For his career, McCann has compiled a .350 on-base percentage, which is much better than the .291 that Evan Gattis (McCann's likely replacement) posted in 2013.

His work at the plate has paid off in the form of four Silver Slugger awards.

Behind the plate, McCann's improved on his game management skills over the years and has grown into a reliable game-caller, at the very least.

Should McCann sign elsewhere, the Braves were fortunate to have one of the best offensive catchers in the game over the past eight seasons.

Losing a player of his caliber will undoubtedly have some impact on the team.

Just how much is yet to be determined.