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Brian McCann wants to end his career with the Braves

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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.”

Padres trade Brad Hand, Adam Cimber to the Indians for Francisco Mejia

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the San Diego Padres have traded closer Brad Hand and reliever Adam Cimber to the Cleveland Indians. In return the Padres are getting top catching prospect Francisco Mejia.

Hand, the Padres’ All-Star closer, has a 3.05 ERA and 65/15 K/BB ratio and 24 saves over over 44.1 innings of work this season. In addition to helping an Indians bullpen which has struggled mightily this season, Hand will provide an insurance policy for the next two seasons given that both Andrew Miller and Cody Allen are due to hit free agency this winter. Hand, meanwhile, is under contract for this year and next for a total of $13.5 million, with a $10 million club option for 2021.

Cimber is another fine reliever who, along with Hand, suddenly transforms the Indians’ bullpen. He’s a 27-year-old rookie, but he’s been a very useful one this year, posting a 3.17 ERA in 42 games, with a K/BB ratio of 51/10 in 48.1 innings. He’s pitched even better than that of late and has been particularly hard on righties. He’s under team control through 2023.

In Mejia, the Padres are getting the Indians’ top hitting prospect. A catcher — though not necessarily a great defensive one — Mejia has struggled in brief stints in the big leagues thus far but is a .291/.344/.438 hitter in six minor league seasons and, at times, has shown star potential. He turns 23 in October.

A nice piece for the Padres in the long term and an immediate upgrade to the Indians’ bullpen in the short term. In short: a baseball trade.