Free-agent catcher McCann interested in Rangers

Free-agent catcher McCann interested in Rangers

Free-agent catcher McCann interested in Rangers

ARLINGTON -- Brian McCann's agent, B.B. Abbott, said his client is interested in playing in Texas, and that hasn't changed with Tuesday's announcement that the Rangers have signed Geovany Soto to a one-year contract to be their regular catcher.

The Rangers have expressed interest in McCann, a seven-time All-Star with the Braves, and Abbott said the interest is mutual.

"From Brian's standpoint, it's certainly an attractive place for him," Abbott said Wednesday morning. "He's a left-handed power-hitting catcher who likes to handle a mature and quality staff. They have a good front office and a good coaching staff. He would be crazy not to look at that as a landing spot. It would be a great situation. He likes the park, he knows guys on the team and it's in the South. He likes hot weather.

"All of those things make it a good fit."

The Rangers signed Soto to a one-year, $3.05 million contract on Tuesday with the idea that he would do the majority of the catching. But general manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers are still looking for another catcher.

One possibility, according to Daniels, would be a second catcher who could play other positions, including designated hitter and first base. McCann would fit that role if he were willing to accept being the backup catcher while getting his bat into the lineup at other positions.

"Brian's feeling is Soto's signing certainly doesn't eliminate Texas," Abbott said. "Brian's not ready to take any team out of the equation, especially if he feels it's a good fit."

Abbott said it is very early in the free-agent process. The Red Sox, Phillies and Yankees are among the teams that are in the market for a catcher, and McCann is easily the top one available on the free-agent market. He could command a contract similar to the five-year, $75 million contract signed by Yadier Molina with the Cardinals last year.

The Braves extended McCann a qualifying offer on Monday, meaning the Rangers would forfeit their first-round pick if they sign him. McCann is not expected to re-sign with Atlanta. The Braves have Gerald Laird and Evan Gattis as experienced catchers and a top catching prospect in Christian Bethancourt.

McCann, who turns 30 in February, hit .256 with 20 home runs and 57 RBIs in 102 games for Atlanta this past season. He had a .336 on-base percentage and a .461 slugging percentage after being activated off the disabled list on May 6. McCann was sidelined at the start of the season while recovering from right shoulder surgery.

For his career, McCann is hitting .277 with 26 home runs, 97 RBIs, a .350 on-base percentage and a .473 slugging percentage for every 162 games played.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.