While most Braves fans are wondering who’ll be their Opening Day shortstop and whether Jair Jurrjens and/or the popular Martin Prado will be traded by the end of next week’s Winter Meetings, a potentially bigger issue looms in the not-too-distant future: Brian McCann.
Specifically, will the Braves make the six-time All-Star catcher a franchise player along the lines of Chipper Jones by signing McCann to a long-term extension in the next year or so?
McCann will make $11.5 million in the final season of his contract in 2012 (the base salary of $8.5 million was increased the maximum $3 million by escalators tied to All-Star appearances and Silver Slugger awards).
There is a $12 million option for 2013, a straight team option with a $500,000 buyout. Between now and the end of the ’12 season — we’ll operate under an assumption the