One thing on the list of needed positions this winter for the Baltimore Orioles was certainly a backup catcher.
Last season, the Orioles rode with Robinson Chirinos as the backup to Adley Rutschman, and an improvement there was definitely needed.
To fill that role, O’s GM Mike Elias went out and acquired James McCann from the New York Mets. In this deal, the O’s are set to receive McCann and cash considerations for a player to be named later.
Firstly, it is important to note, the player who will be sent to Queens will be a low level prospect, most likely one who is a somewhat far shot from becoming a better major leaguer than McCann. When you add cash considerations to that, it already looks like a good deal for the Birds.
To make this trade even better, the Orioles will only need to pay $5 million of McCann’s remaining $24 million salary for the next two seasons. The other $19 million will be paid by New York.
Over his career, McCann’s numbers will not wow anybody. However, they are much better than what we had to work with last season, as the 32-year-old is a career .243 hitter with an OPS+ of 83 over his nine-year career.
McCann’s best seasons came as a part of the Chicago White Sox in 2019 and 2020, which included his sole All-Star appearance in 2019.
Defense and game calling have been the strongest suits for McCann over his career, and that is a big part of Elias making this deal. The Oriole’s pitching staff saw a significant decrease in production and success when pitching to Chirinos last season as compared to Rutschman, and a player like McCann will help make that gap much smaller.
Considering the Orioles only missed the postseason by a few games last year while losing the majority of Chirinos’ starts, it’s easy to see why this move was made.
An interesting thing to note is that McCann played a few games at first base while with the Mets, something we could certainly see happen here in Baltimore. With being a serviceable backup to Rutschman, adding a potential backup first baseman as well for just $5 million is a quality acquisition.
In order to make room for McCann on the 40-man roster, infielder Tyler Nevin has been designated for assignment.
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