After weeks of courting, a deal is done between the Mets and free-agent catcher James McCann. McCann has agreed to a four-year deal, the Mets announced Tuesday. The contract is worth $40.6 million, reports Tim Healey of Newsday.
McCann, 30, hit .289/.360/.536 (144 OPS+) with seven home runs and 15 RBI in 31 games last season for the White Sox. He was an All-Star in 2019 after a monster offensive first half (.316/.371/.502), but tailed off after the break. Past the bat, McCann has great value behind the plate. Known as an excellent framer (he sits in the 88th percentile, per Baseball Savant), he also routinely throws out would-be base-stealers at a higher rate than the league average. At plus-5 defensive runs saved last season, McCann was tied for fourth among catchers in all of baseball.
This would plug an obvious hole for the Mets, as they were left with Tomas Nido and Ali Sanchez as their major-league catchers after the 2020 season with Wilson Ramos hitting free agency. Additionally, they didn't have any catcher prospects close to the majors. Early in the offseason, many thought top free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto would be a Mets target, but they seemed to quickly hone in on McCann.
Don't expect the Mets to be close to done this winter. With new owner Steve Cohen wanting to make an impact and having been spared from the so-called "biblical" losses other owners suffered in 2020, they appear to have the means to spend a lot this offseason. They've been connected in rumors to free-agent center fielder George Springer, for example.
Marcus Stroman decided to accept his qualifying offer, but the rotation could still stand to be upgraded. Reliever Trevor May signed with the Mets last week, but the bullpen could always use more help. And, of course, a huge name like Springer should always be considered. Surely the Mets continue to stay aggressive here in the offseason while few others are.
For now, though, they have their starting catcher in McCann, whom our R.J. Anderson ranked the No. 15 free agent.