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an-interview-with-mccanns-agent-bb-abbott | April | 2007 Articles

2007 Archives

An Interview with McCannís Agent, B.B. Abbott

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A few weeks ago, we reported that Brian McCann received a $26.8 million, six-year contract with the Braves.† This was out of the ordinary for the Braves, who normally do not negotiate long-term contracts with players who have so little Major League service time.† In fact, McCann's contract was the largest in history for a Major League player with less than 2 years service.† I agree with John Schuerholz, who said that the contract is in recognition of McCann's unusual accomplishments.† Last year, his first full year playing in the Big Show, McCann made the All-Star team and won a Silver Slugger award.† For those who read my column with any frequency, you know I've been a McCann fan since he was a freshman in high school in my native Gwinnett County.† I was thrilled to hear the news about McCann's contract, which came only one day after I wrote a column raving about McCann.† I've been lucky enough get to know McCann's agent, B.B. Abbott over the past year and he agreed to let me post the answers to some questions I had for him following the announcement of McCann's historic contract signing.† Here's what I wanted to know: †1. †Were you surprised that Schuerholz and the Braves wanted to negotiate a long-term contract with McCann, knowing that this isn't something the Braves normally do with a player with this little service time? I was a little surprised when John and Frank approached me, but not shocked.† John Schuerholz is a man that has survived many different financial climates in his decades as a general manager. †He has been involved with the Ted Turner-run Braves that were willing to spend money at any juncture to ensure winning. †And, now, he is running a club that is owned by corporate ownership and has certain payroll and financial management issues to consider. †It is simply a sign that this man can play any hand that is dealt to him. †And, I just cannot say enough about Frank Wren and the work that he did in helping to get this done. †It was a very professional discussion, which is something I have come to expect from this organization. 2. †Do you think Francoeur will get a similar long-term contract in the near future? I honestly don't know what Jeff and the club might or might not do. †I know he is a great young player. 3.††Do you think McCann's being signed to a long-term contract of this nature affects the Braves ability to resign Andruw Jones? Again, I can't speak to what Andruw might be thinking at this point. †Brian was going to be a part of this team regardless, so I'm not sure this deal does much to effect his thinking. 4.††Do you think the Braves would move McCann to first base in order to bring up Saltalamacchia to catch? Note:† For those who have read Chop-n-Change for awhile now, you might remember some debate we've all had on this possibility, so I couldn't resist asking. I do not think that the Braves have any intention of moving Brian from behind the plate. A special thanks goes out to B.B. Abbott for always making time for me and for giving us this great insight!

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