The Atlanta Braves have plenty of depth issues to fix this off-season including at the catcher position. Brian McCann has retired leaving Tyler Flowers and Francisco Cervelli who are both likely to become free agents leaving Atlanta without a starting catcher.
Brian McCann retiring as the Atlanta Braves catcher just felt right, it was time for the veteran to hang up his cleats. However, McCann retiring leaves Atlanta with a very tough dilemma at the catcher position.
McCann is out of the equation and Cervelli is set to become a free agent. That leaves only Tyler Flowers who Atlanta must make a decision on.
Tyler Flowers is coming off of his worst season as a member of the Braves. He hit .229 and was a liability at times behind the plate. Making the decision to use his $2-million dollar buyout instead of using the $6-million dollar club option is an easy decision at first glance.
However, once you consider the other options Atlanta is faced with it is hard to make a case Atlanta has a better option than Flowers. Among catchers set to become free agents, he has the third-best WAR.
Yasmani Grandal is first but is unlikely to end up hitting the market, he is followed by the 36-year old Robinson Chirinos who doesn’t seem like a good fit in Atlanta.
After that the market goes steeply downhill with Atlanta picking between offensive or defensive catchers, there isn’t an option who is good at both.
This leaves Atlanta likely sticking with Flowers unless they believe they can find a better option on the trade market. If that is the case they should cut Flowers without hesitation considering how badly he played this past season.
If they cannot find a better option at the very least they need to pair Flowers with a catcher who can handle the bat. Flowers was completely inept the second half of the season, appearing to have no idea what to do at the plate.
The catcher market is certainly slim this off-season and could lead to Flowers coming back to Atlanta. A decision that isn’t likely to be a popular one among the Braves faithful.