Braves catcher Brian McCann launched a two-run home run in last night’s 4-3 loss to the Padres. In doing so, the 29-year-old backstop reached the 20-homer plateau for the sixth straight season and the seventh time in his career. Not bad for a guy who had offseason shoulder surgery and didn’t make his season debut until May 6.
As the following Tweet from ESPN Stats and Info points out, McCann’s current streak of 20-homer seasons places him in some impressive company among catchers.
McCann has connected for 176 home runs since he made his major league debut in 2005. No catcher has more during that timespan.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.