MLB Rumors: James McCann and the New York Mets are closely in on a 4 year, $40 million deal, per multiple reports.
The market for McCann has been surprisingly robust — Fangraphs predicted 2 years, $14 million for the 30 year old catcher, who was with the Detroit Tigers before being non-tendered after the 2018 season and joining the Chicago White Sox, while Kiley McDaniel had him at 2 years, $21 million. In four full seasons plus a cup of coffee with Detroit, McCann accumulated 2.2 bWAR while posting a .240/.288/.366 slash line and registering below-average framing stats.
McCann hit well in his first year in Chicago, however, slashing .273/.328/.460 in 2019, and then slashed .289/.360/.536 in 31 game in last year’s abbreviated season. In 149 games for the ChiSox he has accumulated 5 bWAR, though obviously the industry at large doesn’t see him as a legit 4-5 win player, or else he’d be getting a bigger deal.
This is the type of signing that makes a lot of sense for a multi-billionaire who just bought a big market team that doesn’t have a lot of payroll commitments. If McCann is close to what he has been the last two years, you have a comfortably above average catcher at a discount. If he reverts back to what he was with the Tigers at some point, well, you still need a backup catcher, so McCann still has some use, and all it is costing you is money that you can afford to part with.
The national reports indicate that free agent outfielder George Springer is the Mets’ top target, and adding McCann isn’t going to hinder that in any form or fashion.