Does anyone know if McCann has discussed the potential willingness to play other positions later in his career?
Granted, all of the pitchers seem to love McCann calling the game behind the plate, and his offense at that particular position is a plus, but as he ages, the position will wear on his knees more than most. However, Brian McCann will assuredly take over Chipper's leadership role after Chipper's retirement come the end of this year (Chipper's production will be replaced with McCann, Heyward, etc). His role on the team, his personal demeanor, and the potential for that ever-popular-phrase "hometown discount"* make him a player many fans/players want to see extended.
Combine all of that with Bethancourt and Gattis in the minors and we have a little predicament forthcoming.
Carlos Santana, Joe Mauer, Buster Posey, Jesus Montero... those are all names that come to mind as Catchers who also spend time at first base. Especially with Mauer and Posey, this decision was done by the organization to extend the careers of their franchise players.
Side note: I could be wrong, but I seem to recall Brian playing a half inning in LF during an All-Star Game. Granted, I do not think he recorded an out, but he never received the opportunity. Hey - Brian has NEVER recorded an error in the outfield!
What about moving Freddie to third and giving Brian time at first? Freddie would not have great range, but Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera have shown that a larger-framed-first-baseman can at least be manageable at third. Freddie fields/throws right-handed so it is at least not out of the question. Granted, this latter scenario involves Prado not being extended, which is as unlikely/likely as Brian's extension.
There are talks within the organization, and around TC, about Gattis entering the Majors (whenever that may be) at a position other than Catcher. Regardless, I have heard no such talks regarding Bethancourt.
So again, the question remains, is there a chance that we can keep both Bethancourt AND Brian, with both in the line-up around September of 2013 and maybe for the start of the 2014 season?
* before anyone comments that McCann will absolutely not take a hometown discount, we have to at least view it as a possibility considering his attitude toward the first contract that was extended to him. Remember, the same deal was offered to both McCann and Frenchy, but Jeff thought he would be able to make more money later if he did not sign the deal.