Next Braves upgrade is to trade for… James McCann

Chicago White Sox’s James McCann watches his three-run home run in the eighth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

DAN MATHEWS
ATLANTA, Ga – As you might know by now, Yasmani Grandal is no longer an option for the Braves. He’s now with the Chicago White Sox to the tune of four years, $73 million.

If you’re upset about Grandal not being in a Braves uniform this season, then do not be. 28 homers and 77 RBI is nice. But $18.25 million per year, for a guy who is a career .241 hitter? No thank you, please.

The target now, should come in a trade. The White Sox will all but likely dangle 2019 American League All-Star James McCann on the trade market.

We all believe that Alex Anthopoulos isn’t done making moves this season, because he’s told us that there’s more to come. McCann fits a huge need.

More than likely, Josh Donaldson is no longer going to be an option for this team. That means you’re going to need to replace 37 home runs and 98 RBI.

Replacing this type of production will not be easy. But keep in mind, that McCann just hit 18 homers and drove in 60 runs last season.

I know what you’re going to say next, that isn’t matching up numbers wise. Yes, you’re right.

McCann needs to be a move that precedes a move for Donaldson’s replacement at third or maybe another outfield bat. If I’m getting that type of production out of my starting catcher, then this is a team that can get back to the postseason.

The potential new backstop is also a durable option for you. McCann has played in 118 games in the last two seasons.

McCann cannot be THE move for the 2019-2020 offseason. It would be pretty awesome, if that Kris Bryant from the Cubs possibility comes through too.

The Braves lacked one crucial hit in Game Four of the NLDS against the Cardinals. Adding a hitter like James McCann gives you a better chance to come through in situations like that one.

You have to think of the Braves 2020 roster construction, like building an NBA team for a run at the Larry O’Brien Trophy. The stars are important, but the complimentary pieces are just as important.

McCann also would fit the need in this lineup, that was lacking in the latter part of the season. He would be your five hole hitter. I’m sorry Nick Markakis, but that’s not in the cards for you anymore.

If McCann’s asking price is too high, then no need to panic. Robinson Chirinos, Jason Castro and Travis D’Arnaud are a possibility as well. They’re not McCann, but still give you a decent bat out of your starting catcher. Given this group, I’d take Castro.

Moves will still be made before the season is over. A top of the rotation arm and two more bats are what is needed to help get the Braves past the NLDS.

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