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Braves make qualifying offer to McCann, part ways with Johnson

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, a Duluth grad, hits a home run against the San Diego Padres during the fourth inning at Turner Field. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann, a Duluth grad, hits a home run against the San Diego Padres during the fourth inning at Turner Field. (Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports)

The Atlanta Braves announced Monday that they have made a qualifying contract offer to catcher Brian McCann for the 2014 season.

McCann, who completed his ninth season with the Braves in 2013, owns a career batting average of .277 with 176 home runs and 661 RBIs. The Duluth grad has made seven all-star game appearances, including one this past summer. He also was the first Brave to make the all-star game his first six full seasons in the majors.

The qualifying offer gives Atlanta a compensatory draft pick if McCann signs elsewhere as a free agent this offseason. Since McCann is considered a hot commodity in free agency, he likely will command more money on the open market, particularly from American League teams who have the option of using him at catcher and designated hitter. With that in mind, most expect that McCann won't accept the Braves' reportedly lower, one-year qualifying offer of $14.1 million.

Other teams can offer McCann a multi-year deal as well.

In another Monday announcement, the Braves also declined to exercise the contract option on outfielder Reed Johnson for the 2014 season. Johnson batted .256 in 117 games with the Braves over the 2012 and 2013 seasons.