The Atlanta Braves made headlines this past week when they revealed what the Yankees wanted in return for catcher Brian McCann. Where the Yankees out of line?
The Atlanta Braves have been surrounded in recent rumors surrounding Brian McCann and whether or not he should come to Atlanta. The majority of the attention has been drawn to the Yankees reportedly asking for Mike Foltynewicz or Ender Inciarte in return for the Yankee’s current designated hitter.
Braves fans have reacted with surprise and shock that the Yankees put so much value on Brian McCann. The Yankees had every right to ask for either player at the time of the talks between the Braves and the Yankees. Bear with the reasoning for a moment Braves fans and allow an explanation.
No, the Braves would not be making a great or savvy move to give up either of those players for the former Braves’ backstop, though you could make an argument for moving Foltynewicz . Ender Inciarte had one above average season under his belt and only seemed to show promise at the plate after the second half. The Yankees asking for a young outfielder who had not yet delivered on his abilities was not out of line though the Braves were and are still not willing to pay nearly that much for McCann nor should they.
What is most surprising about the Braves is their attachment to Mike Foltynewicz in this situation. Sure he can throw the ball at a higher speed than any other starter could touch, what else can he do or has he done at age twenty-five?
Brian McCann is an overpaid and aging catcher, no questioning that. There is also no questioning that this Braves team needs to find Tyler Flowers help behind the plate and the lefty hitting McCann would slot nicely into the lower part of the lineup. The question is what should the Braves be willing to part with to acquire Brian McCann?
Mike Foltynewicz is a dart thrower who is going to eventually be moved to the later innings in a bullpen. The Braves trading a future bullpen arm for Brian McCann may not bad thought it is however a move they will not make.
Despite this heat in 123 innings he finished with a 4.31 ERA that is far from impressive for a twenty-five year old prospect. This is not to say that the Braves should or will even consider moving Folty for McCann rather an explanation of the fact that the Yankees asking for either player that they did at the time they did was more than fair and doesn’t mean a deal is still not plausible.
Pitching prospects are everywhere in the Braves system and what the Braves need to use to pry the Yankees away from McCann. No, not a top pitching prospect rather a couple of lower end pitching prospects to the Yankees in exchange for a salary dump in McCann should do the trick for both sides.
The Braves need a catcher and the Yankees have the best fit for the Braves on the market. If the Braves are hoping to compete anytime in the next few seasons it is time to stop shopping in the closeout section that they have been in for the last three seasons and add some real talent behind the young offensive core they have. If they can do that as well as add enough pitching to keep them in games the 2017 Braves could be an intriguing roster to watch.