After some speculation earlier in the week, the Mets sign James McCann to a four-year contract. The deal is worth approximately $40 million and will keep McCann in New York through his age-34 season.
Mets Sign James McCann: What Does It Mean For the Mets?
The Mets sign James McCann knowing he’s a massive upgrade for a team that dealt with subpar production from their backstops in 2020. McCann was widely viewed as the second-best catcher on this year’s free-agent market, only trailing J.T. Realmuto.
McCann was an All-Star in 2019 and followed up with a strong 2020. In 111 plate appearances, McCann hit .289/.360/.536 (144 OPS+) with seven homers, 15 RBIs, and 1.5 fWAR while serving as the back-up catcher for Yasmani Grandal in Chicago. McCann also threw out a strong 33% of attempted base stealers and improved his framing significantly, racking up 2.3 framing runs above average. Overall, McCann represents an upgrade both offensively and defensively for the Mets, as Wilson Ramos was below-average on both sides of the coin last year.
Mets Sign James McCann: Impact On the Rest of the League
With McCann off the market, the field for J.T. Realmuto should start to heat up. At such a weak offensive position, Realmuto is expected to get upwards of $20 million annually and there is speculation that after saving money to sign McCann instead of Realmuto, the Mets are now seen as favorites to sign George Springer.
Mets Sign James McCann: Closing Thoughts
By signing James McCann, the Mets are taking care of one of the biggest holes on their roster. While he isn’t as great as J.T. Realmuto, McCann saves the Mets money to go after other marquee free agents. Steve Cohen is off to a strong start in his first offseason as the owner of the Mets and it will be interesting to see what the team does from here.
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