The Braves are in need of a catcher...this is hardly a secret. The days of running AJ Pierzynski out there for a 100 games are now over and while Tyler Flowers did provide some promise at the plate at times, he is pretty clearly a backup catcher especially when you consider that his offense is inconsistent and that he could flat out not catch guys stealing to safe his life.
However, with the catcher free agent market being a bit wonky especially with Wilson Ramos’ knee injury, its unclear as to who the Braves could/would target to fill the position. One name that was batted around at the trade deadline was Brian McCann and it appears that interest, at the very least from the Yankees end, appears to be ongoing.
Examining the potential landing spots for Brian McCann and the case for the Yankees holding onto him https://t.co/d9LG8erc1m— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) October 18, 2016
This report has been picked up in a couple places, notably ESPN’s rumor mill, as highlighting the Yankee’s ongoing interest in the Braves’ Mike Foltynewicz. Folty was targeted in the initial talks to possibly bring McCann back when the Yankees asked for Ender Inciarte and Folty as the return in such a deal. One assumes that Coppy struggled to hold back laughter as he hung up the phone when he got that offer.
While McCann is an intriguing option as at least a short-term option at catcher, its hard to foresee the framework of such a deal involving these two players. One of the Braves’ OTHER stated goals is to improve their starting pitching and with Folty expected to play a major part in the rotation going forward, trading him away makes that problematic when the team was already looking to add 1-2 starters.
McCann’s contract is also prohibitive and while the Braves’ would seemingly be willing and able to pay a chunk of the $34 million owed to him over the next two years, the Yankees seem like they both don’t want to be left on the hook for much of his contract AND want a premium return for the veteran catcher. The catching market could also mean McCann’s value on the trade market could make it prohibitive for the Braves to try and trade for him.
McCann slashed .242/.335/.413 for the Yankees in 2016 with 20 homers and 58 RBIs while Foltynewicz had a 4.31 ERA in 123.1 innings while striking out 111 batters against 35 walks.