Brian McCann, Tim Hudson and Paul Maholm can now begin preparing for next season with the confidence that they will indeed be back with the Braves.
The Braves announced on Tuesday that they have exercised the contract option that each of these three players had for the 2013 season.
While the options of Hudson ($9 million) and Maholm ($6.5 million) were widely viewed as formalities, the $12 million on the table for McCann was more contentious. The All-Star catcher had his worst big league season in 2012 – hitting just .230/.300/.399 in one hundred twenty-one games – and underwent major shoulder surgery two weeks ago that could sideline him until May.
Bowman speculates there is a "slim possibility" the Braves trade the 28-year-old McCann this offseason, but it is more likely he will stay in Atlanta for at least one more year.
Acquired in a July trade with the Cubs, Maholm pitched well for the Braves down the stretch, putting up a 3.54 ERA and 7.7 K/9 in eleven starts. Maholm, along with the Hudson – who put up stellar numbers once again at age 36 – give the Braves strong veteran arms to anchor a rotation filled out by youngsters Kris Medlen, Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor.