Take free agent catcher James McCann off the board. The New York Mets are expected to be among the most aggressive buyers this Winter. New owner Steve Cohen has a large pocket book and the Mets have money to burn. McCann is his first significant purchase.
Ken Rosenthal of MLB Network and The Athletic was the first to report the news:
McCann, is expected to sign a four-year contract with the Mets to become their primary catcher. Tomás Nido will likely serve as the back up to McCann. New York will no longer trot out Wilson Ramos as an offensive first guy. McCann is well rounded on both sides of the dish.
I recently wrote a feature on McCann. The former Tigers and White Sox backstop was a hot name on the market for a few weeks. Most people did not understand why but it was easy to see. McCann turned into a brilliant pitch framer in 2020 and his offensive game is more than passable.
Mets catchers hit just .239/.294/.403 in 2020, so McCann should provide a spark. Over the past two seasons with Chicago, McCann posted a batting line of 276/.334/.474 clip with 25 home runs, 29 doubles and a triple in 587 plate appearances. The Mets should get better offensive production from the catcher spot in 2021.
More importantly, the Mets improve their defense. McCann has turned into one of the best pitch framers in the sport. Ramos was conversely one of the worst. New York needs more defense all around the diamond.
The Steve Cohen era is off to a hot start. They have their first free agent pick up under the new ownership group. Now we will wait to find out what’s next in the Big Apple?