Friday, October 25, 2013

Hot Stove Update: Brian McCann?

A very strange rumor hit the internets yesterday evening, apparently originating with Jon Heyman, that the Giants are interested in making a run at Brian McCann.  Brian McCann?  He plays catcher, right?  The Giants already have an All-Star caliber catcher who won an MVP as recently as 2012, right?  What's even more strange is that Heyman's "source" added that it might depend on how much playing time McCann is looking for.

Apparently the Giants feel they need another lefthanded bat to support the RH tandem of Buster Posey and Hunter Pence.  McCann is certainly a hella LH hitter, when he is healthy, and there is the rub.  There are all kinds of things wrong with this rumor:

McCann is reportedly drawing enough interest from enough of the right teams that estimates of his contract size are routinely in the 9 digit range.  You don't speculate about playing time with a $100 M player!

2014 will be McCann's age 30 season.  That's not all that old for a ballplayer, but it is for a catcher, and he's been beaten up pretty bad over the last 3 seasons while failing to play in more than 130 in any one of those seasons.  He hits well enough to DH in the AL, but has never played any other position but catcher and does not appear to have a body that could man even first base.  If we are talking a contract in the neighborhood of 6/$100 M, it will almost surely be a terrible contract by the midpoint.

Maybe the Giants are thinking McCann would do most of the catching and Buster Posey would move to 1B with Brandon Belt moving to LF?  That would fly in the face of what Brian Sabean said about Posey remaining at catcher at the end of the season and also goes against what beat reporters are hearing from the organization.

The one angle that I could see possibly working is if the Giants envision a tandem catcher/first base situation with Buster and McCann sharing duties equally.  I proposed such an arrangement in the past when I was stumping for Mike Napoli or Ryan Doumit or someone like that.  The only problem, once again, with this notion is that McCann has never played a game at any position but catcher.

I love Brian McCann as a ballplayer(I love him a little less as a person after his ridiculous reaction to the Gomez HR and bat flip), but I am inclined to believe that this is a case of a reporter making something up and talking to a janitor who worked the Kardashian gig to claim as the "source."


  1. If they have only one $100 million contract to sign this offseason, my choice goes to a starting pitcher.

    If they have several $100 million contracts to sign, then who am I to argue with people with lots of money? I mean, money talks and if one billionaire wants to take on another billionaire, that ought to be interesting.

  2. McC will almost surely be given a QO from the Braves, and he is a player I would lose a draft pick for only if the Giants trade Sandoval for an excellent player and move Posey to 3B.

  3. "A person with Giants connections"... Heyman can be so full of it sometimes. We've shot this idea around some, you get a guy who can hit 20 HRs a year (and it holds up to HR tracker btw, he can put em in the cove). I just don't see the Giants coughing up 100MM for him, losing the pick. He doesn't add a lot on the field, he obviously doesn't run. Does he play the game "right"? I had the same reaction to his blocking the plate recently.

    I see a lot of regression in his stats, and that aging curve scares me. I'd steer clear of this one if I'm the Greybeards, but good for them to get their name out there. If that's what they are doing, and its not the usual Heyman-Agent leak games.

  4. Heyman is a known Boras connection, willing to plug any of Boras' clients with "rumors" of interest. Twist the logic enough, and you can make the case that Boras is someone with a connection with the Giants: I think he has clients signed with the Giants, or did, and at worse, I'm sure he's in regular conversation with the Giants because he's trying to sell his clients services, so he has to do his due diligence and kick the tires around the league for his clients.

    The McCann rumor is the more egregious example because it just doesn't make any sense, for the reason outlined here. Particularly the part about McCann's playing time being a part-time player: nobody is paying a player a 9-figure contact in order to be a part-time starter. And I didn't know that he hasn't played any position other than C so far in his MLB career, though some do play 1B at some point, but that is another reason to question this rumor. And the Giants most pressing issue is in the starting rotation, that would make sense to spend 9-figures on, not on another All-Star catcher who would end playing part-time.

    It is almost like someone sat down and thought, "How would it work if McCann was signed by the Giants?" The "rumor" covers all that ground. Heyman probably didn't make it up though, Boras probably called him up on a special bat phone, and spoke slowly so Heyman can write it all down exactly.