Brian McCann has been getting a lot of attention this month -- and the offseason hasn't even started yet.
One report suggested McCann could be looking at nine-figure deals, considering the lucrative contracts other upper-tier catcher have signed recently. And Giants Team President Larry Baer has said his team's payroll could increase in 2014, so McCann and the Giants might be a decent match, from a strictly financial standpoint.
But why would they sign McCann when they already have a franchise cornerstone -- Buster Posey -- at catcher, and the polemic-inciting Brandon Belt at first base?
Well, there are a number of reasons the Giants may consider signing the dependable nine-year veteran.
Posey would likely still catch a lot of the Giants games if they decided to bring in McCann, but the addition of another capable backstop would give the Giants the ability to keep both Posey and McCann fresh -- and more importantly, off the disabled list. They could use Brandon Belt in left field to keep the best bats in the lineup. Belt has played 269 innings in the outfield for the Giants, posting a total UZR/150 of 2.3 in his career, so it's not like he'd be a liability.
Despite his left-handedness, Brian McCann's bat would probably be a welcome addition to a Giants lineup that finished in the bottom-half of the National League in runs. The Giants are likely to place an emphasis on improving their right-handed hitting in the offseason, but they might decide that McCann, and the versatility he could supply them with, is valuable enough for them to overlook the splits. Jon Heyman of CBS Sports seems to think McCann-to-the-Giants isn't a very real possibility, but he does mention that the team would like to add a left-handed power bat, an area where the market is very thin.
As long as the rules stay the same, it might be nice to have a few catchers hanging around.
The potential for "San Fran McCann" merchandise.
San Francisco might have to become more open-minded about how they can improve if they fail to execute -- or simply do not have -- a highly-detailed blueprint for the offseason. Perhaps McCann's lofty contract goals will cause some hesitation, but if the Giants haven't made their moves before the market thins out, McCann could step out of the shadows to save the day for GM Brian Sabean. He's probably not their first choice, but he might end up being their best option at some point.
In this scenario, McCann could be a hero for the Giants, allowing the team to keep their new catcher tandem fresh and further justify Cove-goers' decision to spend their evenings floating in anticipation of a souvenir -- basically, just a more impressive version throwing bread to the ducks at the park.
But McCann could also be what has become a lethargic cliché -- the internally vacillating anti-hero. The catcher will likely continue to hit no matter where he goes, but if he struggled or showed signs of wearing down, he could fill the void in Giants fans' hearts where Barry Zito used to reside.