It’s a business; a hard, unforgiving business.
It was a business last season, when Braves catcher Brian McCann played hurt and, according to several former teammates, grew frustrated when management did not sufficiently acknowledge his condition or sacrifice.
And it will be a business this offseason, when McCann becomes a free agent and, if healthy, likely draws interest from several high-revenue clubs, including one that expressed interest in him after last season, the Texas Rangers.
The worst is behind McCann, who is expected to return in mid-April from surgery on a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He said he is excited by his progress, excited by his team’s prospects and open to remaining with his hometown team, even while some of his friends believe he’s a goner.
General manager Frank Wren, seeking to ensure that the two sides maintain a positive relationship, said he reached out to McCann with a telephone call after last season ended.
“I felt like we needed to sit down and have a good discussion, and we did,” Wren said. “I don’t know that it was as much ‘repair’ as it was having a chance to have a good, open discussion about the present, future and getting ready for 2013.”
Still, while McCann and the Braves seemingly are back on good terms — McCann disputes talk of a disconnect with the front office, saying, “it wasn’t like that at all” — dollars alone might drive the two sides apart.
A big bounce-back year by McCann likely would price him out of the Braves’ plans. A poor year would raise the question of whether the team would even want him — except, perhaps, for a low guarantee on a short-term deal.
The Braves were unwilling to give McCann an extension similar to Yadier Molina’s five-year, $75 million deal last spring after McCann struggled and missed time in the second half of 2011 due to a strained left oblique.
McCann's stay in Atlanta almost done?
Foxsports.com | Mar 11