Braves make offer to McCann, not Hudson
Catcher expected to decline, test free agency; veteran righty welcoming suitors
ATLANTA -- With Brian McCann expected to play for another club for the first time in his career, the Braves ensured that they will be compensated for his expected departure via free agency by making him a qualifying offer -- a one-year deal worth $14.1 million -- before Monday's 5 p.m. ET deadline.
McCann and Tim Hudson were the only Atlanta free agents who qualified for this offer, but as expected, the Braves opted not to make one to Hudson, whose salary for 2014 will likely be significantly less than $14.1 million.
Instead of returning with a one-year deal, McCann will decline this qualifying offer before the 5 p.m. ET deadline on Nov. 11 and continue pursuing the lucrative multiyear contract that awaits him, as he is one of this year's most attractive free agents.
If a player rejects a qualifying offer and signs with another club, his former team receives a compensation pick between the first and second rounds of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. The signing club then loses its first-round selection, unless it is a top 10 pick, in which case it would lose its next-highest selection.
The Rangers are the early favorites to sign McCann, who will turn 30 in February, but the seven-time All-Star is also expected to receive attention from a number of other clubs, namely the Yankees and Red Sox.
McCann, who has been with the Braves since being selected in the second round of the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, could certainly be intrigued by an offer made by the World Series champion Red Sox, as it would give him the opportunity to be reunited with his good friend David Ross, who served as Atlanta's backup catcher from 2009-12.
And speaking of Boston, one day after winning the World Series, the Red Sox called Hudson to express their interest in talking to him about the possibility of pitching for them next year.
Hudson, 38, estimates that he has received calls from 10 teams since the World Series concluded, with the Royals and Indians thus far showing the most interest.
Indians manager Terry Francona had a lengthy telephone discussion with Hudson this weekend, and Royals manager Ned Yost is expected to meet the veteran hurler for lunch in the Atlanta area later this week.
The Braves have already made a one-year offer to Hudson, but it does not seem as though he and his agent plan to counter this offer.
Hudson is nearing the end of his recovery from the fractured right ankle that sidelined him for the final two months of the season, and a screw will be removed from the ankle within the next week. If everything appears to be structurally sound at that point, he could be cleared to begin throwing during the latter portion of this month.
In other roster-related news, the Braves announced that they have declined backup outfielder Reed Johnson's $1.6 million option for the 2014 season. His buyout clause was worth $150,000.
Johnson was able participate in the postseason for the first time in his career, but his season was tarnished by the strained left Achilles that limited him to just nine at-bats during the regular season's final two months.
Despite missing so much time, he still notched 11 pinch-hits, three fewer than the Major League-best 14 Kevin Frandsen recorded for the Phillies.
The need for Johnson in Atlanta decreased as Jordan Schafer resurrected his career and Evan Gattis proved that he is capable of playing the outfield if necessary. Todd Cunningham, Joey Terdoslavich and Jose Constanza could all go to Spring Training next year with the hope of gaining one of the backup outfield spots.