With the Mets and Yankees in need of a starting catcher who can be a plus on both sides of the ball, both teams have expressed interest in free agent James McCann, reports Jon Heyman.
Per Heyman, in addition to the Mets and Yankees, the St. Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, and Chicago White Sox are also interested, with the Philadelphia Phillies “believed” to be intrigued if they lose J.T. Realmuto.
James McCann has received interest from the Yanks, Mets, Cardinals and Angels in addition to the White Sox. Phillies also believed interested if they lose Realmuto. McCann is coming into his own with a 144 OPS plus last year. White Sox like him, but realistically, he’s a starter.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 30, 2020
The Mets and Yanks have also shown interest in free agent catcher Yadier Molina. However, Molina has said he wants to return to the Cardinals.
The Mets declined Wilson Ramos’ option for 2021 and have finding a new catcher near the top of their offseason to-do list.
The Yanks have until Wednesday to decide whether to tender Gary Sanchez a contract for 2021, but even if they do, it’s unclear what his role might be.
As far as McCann, the 30-year-old was among the better pitch-framers in baseball in 2020 and has been an overall plus defender behind the plate the last two seasons.
Offensively in 2020, McCann slashed .289/.360/.536 after slashing .273/.328/.460 in 2019.
While he’s a step down from Realmuto, McCann is a strong option who will cost a lot less in terms of years and dollars.