On Monday afternoon, the Braves officially extended a qualifying offer to catcher Brian McCann, and in the process, made another (somewhat more unexpected) procedural move.
#Braves make it official, they’ve extended a qualifying offer to Brian McCann. In addition, they’ve declined the 2014 option on Reed Johnson
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) November 4, 2013
The McCann move was expected and it is also expected that he will decline the offer and become an unrestricted free agent. We will most likely never see Brian in a Braves uniform again, unfortunately. This is really just a formality so that the Braves can claim a compensation draft pick when McCann signs a free agent deal with someone else. He is considered one of the biggest name free agents out there and will have many suitors willing to pay big bucks for his services. The team that is thought to be most interested in McCann is the Rangers, but it could be anyone’s game at this point. McCann now has 7 days to make his decision to accept or decline the $14.1 million dollar, one year offer.
The other move made was that the Braves have also declined their $1.6 million dollar option on outfielder Reed Johnson. They will instead pay the $150k to buy him out and he will become a free agent. This isn’t a big surprise since the Braves have other outfielders available for less money than Johnson. Johnson was also injured at the end of the 2013 season and he isn’t getting any younger. The Braves will need to find a new bench bat that can hit lefties well to replace him.
Stay tuned for more information as it breaks.