In a first for the Braves, they’ve signed a pre-arbitration player to a long-term deal. Brian McCann signed a six year, $27.8MM deal today. There’s an additional $2MM in incentives. In comparison, Joe Mauer recently signed a four-year, $33MM deal.
McCann’s contract is a record for a player with less than two years of service time. It represents a change in Braves’ philosophy, and they’ve talked to Jeff Francoeur’s agent as well.
McCann will be a Brave through 2012, with a $12MM club option for 2013. McCann requested the ’13 option for $12MM be the Braves’ decision, in case his performance is not up to par at that point. If my math is correct, the deal buys out one year of free agency. But I wasn’t told there would be math.
Ranked by OPS, McCann’s 2006 season was the best ever for a catcher at age 23 or younger. Among the great under-25 catcher seasons, only Rudy York’s 1938 was better.
I’m not sure where this leaves Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Maybe as the team’s best trade bait, if he bounces back this year.