The deal with McCann, who has less than two years of major league service, includes a club option for 2013. McCann, just 23, hit a team-high .333 with 24 homers and 93 RBI last season.
"This is really a historical and unprecedented kind of commitment for the Atlanta Braves," general manager John Schuerholz said.
McCann was born in Athens, Ga., and lives in Duluth, near Atlanta.
"Atlanta is where I want to play. It's where I grew up," McCann said. "Not many people can say that.
"I don't want to be just an average big leaguer," McCann said. "I want to be a great big leaguer. This contract is just a steppingstone to where I want to be in the future."
Schuerholz said the contract doesn't set a trend for the team but is a reflection of McCann's unusual accomplishments so early in his career.
|Brian McCann inspires the Braves to offer a rare longterm contract. (US Presswire)|
McCann gets a $1 million signing bonus, $500,000 this year, $800,000 in 2008, $3.5 million in 2009, $5.5 million in 2010 and $6.5 million in 2011. He earns $8.5 million in 2012 and can make $3 million more in escalator provisions, but if he fails to win certain awards, his salary that season becomes a club option.
Atlanta also has a $12 million option for 2013 with a $500,000 buyout.
Because of complicated provisions in the contract, McCann likely would make at least $27.8 million under the deal, with the possibility of earning up to $29.8 million.
Atlanta, in the process of being sold from Time Warner Inc. to Liberty Media Corp., faces some big decisions later this year. Center fielder Andruw Jones and pitcher John Smoltz both are eligible for free agency after the season.
Schuerholz said the sale of the team, awaiting approval from baseball owners, was "not at all" a factor in the negotiations with McCann. Schuerholz said the team first approached McCann about a longterm contract early in spring training.
The team has other emerging stars, including right fielder Jeff Francoeur. The contract is evidence McCann is viewed as the team's top young player.
"He separated himself by his actions and by his productivity and by his consistency. It is an exception," Schuerholz said. "We've never done a contract like this. This kind of thing happens very rarely. I don't know that it necessarily sets a new tone for how we're going to operate. If we find somebody we feel as strongly about as we do Brian McCann, we may consider that."