Braves re-sign McCann, bring in Donaldson

Braves re-sign McCann, bring in Donaldson
Brian McCann

The Atlanta Braves today signed C Brian McCann to a one-year contract worth $2 million for the 2019 season. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated LHP Ricardo Sánchez for assignment.

McCann, 34, returns to Atlanta after spending the last five seasons in the American League, most recently with Houston. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound native of Athens, Ga., hit .277 (1,070-for-3,863) with 176 home runs and a .823 OPS over nine seasons with the Braves from 2005-2013, making seven All-Star teams (2006-11, 2013) and winning five Silver Slugger awards (2006, 2008-11).

He signed a five-year contract with New York (AL) as a free agent following the 2013 season, and spent three years with the Yankees. He won another Silver Slugger award with New York in 2015, and was dealt to Houston in exchange for minor-league right-handers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman following the 2016 season.

In two seasons with the Astros, McCann hit .230 (124-for-538) with 25 home runs in 160 games, helping Houston win the World Series in 2017. He played in just 63 games in 2018 after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on July 3, and hit .212 with seven home runs and a .640 OPS

The left-handed hitting McCann leads all active catchers with 270 career home runs and 973 RBI, while ranking second in games played (1,670), hits (1,521), doubles (285), and OPS (.791).

Originally drafted by the Braves in the second round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, McCann made his major league debut with Atlanta in 2005. His six Silver Slugger awards are tied for the third most among catchers with Lance Parrish and behind only Hall-of-Famers Mike Piazza (10) and Ivan Rodríguez (7). He is also one of four catchers in the modern era (since 1900) to hit at least 20 home runs in 10-or-more seasons. He first reached 20 home runs in his first full season of 2006, hitting 24, before reaching the mark in nine consecutive seasons from 2008-16. Piazza (12 seasons), Johnny Bench (11 seasons) and Yogi Berra (11 seasons) are the other three.

The team also signed INF Josh Donaldson to a one-year contract worth $23 million for the 2019 season. In order to make room on the 40-man roster, the club designated LHP Adam McCreery for assignment.

Donaldson, 32, signs with Atlanta after spending the entirety of his eight-year major league career in the American League. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound native of Pensacola, Fla., has batted .275 (906-for-3,292) over 883 career games, reaching base at a .367 clip and compiling a .507 slugging percentage. He was named the American League MVP following the 2015 season, and was selected to the A.L. All-Star team in three consecutive years from 2014-16.

He split last season between the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians, combining to bat .246 (46-for-187) with eight home runs and 23 RBI. He was limited to just 52 games after three stints on the disabled list, including two trips for a left calf strain.

Donaldson batted .297/.371/.568 over 158 games in his 2015 MVP season and led the A.L. in runs (122), RBI (123) and extra-base hits (84), including a career-best 41 home runs. He became just the second Blue Jays player in franchise history to be named MVP, joining George Bell in 1987. Donaldson also earned the A.L. Hank Aaron Award and his first career Silver Slugger following the season.

Donaldson bats and throws right-handed, and has played 805 of his 883 career games at third base. He ranks second among all active third basemen in slugging percentage (.507, trailing just Nolan Arenado), fifth in home runs (182) and ninth in RBI (551).

Originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the first round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Donaldson was traded to the Oakland Athletics in July of 2008 and made his major league debut with the A’s in 2010. He was a three-year starter at Auburn University from 2005-2007, and currently resides in Daphne, Ala.