Getty Images

Brian McCann wants to end his career with the Braves

4 Comments

Brian McCann may have just won his first championship with the Astros, but he doesn’t seem to think of Houston as his final destination. On Friday, the veteran backstop told Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he’d prefer to finish off the last leg of his major league career with the Braves.

McCann made his big league debut with the Braves back in 2005, riding a .278/.345/.400 batting line into the postseason, where the team was brought down by the Astros 3-1 in the Division Series. He finished a nine-year track with the club in 2013, slashing a cumulative .277/.350/.473 with 176 home runs and an .823 OPS before picking up back-to-back gigs with the Yankees and Astros.

“This is my home,” he told Burns. “I played close to 10 years here. This organization is really, really, really close to my heart. I love this organization.”

Don’t take that to mean that he’s ready to jump ship just yet, however, or that he even envisions spending a full final season in Atlanta. The 33-year-old catcher is still expected to start behind the dish for the Astros next spring and stands to earn $17 million in 2018 with a $15 million club option for 2019. Retirement is several years away, at least, and McCann wants to win one or two more championships before he hangs up his cleats for good. He predicted the Braves will be back in the postseason “sooner rather than later,” but didn’t give any indication that he’ll be in their ranks when they start approaching their fourth franchise title.

“I’ll always be an Atlanta Brave,” he said on Saturday. “So I love this organization and we’ll see what happens in the future. But right now I’m really excited to be a Houston Astro. It’s a great organization.”

Mets invite Tim Tebow to spring training

Getty Images
6 Comments

Tim Tebow isn’t letting go of his major league dreams just yet. The former NFL quarterback is slated to appear with the Mets during spring training this year, extending what initially looked like an ill-fated career choice for at least one more season. Per the club’s official announcement on Friday, he’ll join a group of spring training invitees that includes top-30 prospects like Peter Alonso, P.J. Conlon, Patrick Mazeika and David Thompson.

Tebow, 30, hasn’t taken to professional baseball as gracefully as expected. He batted a cumulative .226/.309/.347 with eight home runs and a .656 OPS in 486 plate appearances for Single-A Columbia and High-A St. Lucie in 2017. While that wasn’t enough to compel the Mets to give the aging outfielder a big league tryout, there’s no denying that Tebow brought substantial benefit to their minor league affiliates — in the form of increased attendance figures and ticket sales, that is.

Even after the Mets were booted from the NL East race last September, they resisted the idea of promoting Tebow for a late-season attendance boost of their own. That’s not to say they’re planning on taking the same approach in 2018; Tebow will undoubtedly get his cup of coffee in the majors at some point, but for now, a Grapefruit League tryout is likely as close as he’ll ever get to playing with the team’s big league roster on an everyday basis.