The Mets are finalizing a deal with catcher James McCann, reportedly for four years, $40 million.
SNY’s Andy Martino reported Thursday that McCann and the Mets had reached the five-yard line in negotiations as of Wednesday night and that it wouldn’t take much more negotiating for the sides to close a deal.
McCann, 30, was viewed as the second-best free agent catcher on the market behind J.T. Realmuto, and the Mets had been targeting McCann over Realmuto, per Martino.
In addition to the Mets, the Los Angeles Angels were among the teams pursuing McCann.
While Realmuto has the better career numbers by far, McCann has picked things up over the last two seasons.
In 149 games spanning 2019 and 2020, McCann has slashed .276/.334/.474 with 25 HR in 149 games. His exit velocity was 90.2 in 2019 and 90.5 in 2020. His hard hit rate was also up in 2020, to 47.8 (it was 44.2 in 2019). His xSLG in 2020 was .455.
A plus defensive catcher who is known to work well with a pitching staff, McCann was a favorite of some of his now-former White Sox teammates.
With McCann on board, the Mets — who have been engaged with free agent center fielder George Springer — can direct their attention to other needs.
And by opting for McCann over Realmuto, who is expected to ink a deal worth at least five years and $100 million, the Mets will be able to spread their money around elsewhere.
Still on the Mets’ offseason agenda is adding a new center fielder (perhaps Springer) and further addressing the starting rotation, with Jake Odorizzi among the potential free agent options.