Meet the brand new Mets… similar because the previous Mets?
Steve Cohen’s checkbook bought its first train on Saturday as New York agreed to a four-year, “tick over” $40 million take care of catcher James McCann, who went from being non-tendered by the Tigers after the 2018 season to an All-Star with the White Sox in 2019 and hit 7 homers with an .896 OPS in 31 video games in 2020.
Whereas it’s thrilling for the Mets, freed from the Wilpon regime, to be again as a workforce that spends cash and tries to win, passing on J.T. Realmuto to signal McCann is the sort of transfer that’s all too acquainted. It’s not that the Mets are cheaping out — they’re nonetheless, in keeping with Jon Heyman, chasing after George Springer to play heart subject — nevertheless it’s a doubtful deal for a free agent with an enormous probability of disappointing.
It may work out, positive. Perhaps McCann actually has put it collectively after he was beneath alternative degree in his closing 12 months in Detroit. There’s additionally numerous Todd Frazier/Anthony Swarzak/Jason Vargas potential right here, getting McCann for eight figures a 12 months in his age 31-34 seasons, with underlying causes for concern.
Regardless of his sturdy offensive output in 2020, McCann ranked twenty second amongst 66 catchers with a minimum of 25 batted-ball occasions in what Statcast calls Barrel Proportion — hard-hit balls with an excellent launch angle. Realmuto was sixth, behind Kyle Higashioka, Salvador Perez, Jose Trevino, Gary Sanchez (who’s nonetheless unbelievable when he manages to place the bat on the ball), and Will Smith. Amongst others forward of McCann had been ex-Met Travis d’Arnaud, Chad Wallach, Grayson Greiner, Probability Sisco, and Chadwick Tromp.
Small pattern measurement? In his huge 12 months of 2019, McCann ranked twentieth amongst 86 catchers with a minimum of 25 batted-ball occasions, behind Jorge Alfaro, Roberto Perez, Tyler Flowers, Victor Caratini, and Pedro Severino.
McCann does distinguish himself behind the plate, as he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2020, however Realmuto truly received the award within the full 2019 marketing campaign, and naturally has two Silver Sluggers because the Nationwide League’s prime hitter on the place. In the meantime, the White Sox had been so impressed by McCann’s breakout season that they went out final winter and signed Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million contract.
It’s OK for the Mets to resolve that Realmuto could be an overpay, however that doesn’t imply McCann isn’t. His ceiling may be in Realmuto’s neighborhood, which is the justification for signing him to a far cheaper deal than Realmuto can count on to get, however McCann’s ground is far decrease, with underlying numbers that recommend his rise from minor league-caliber to All-Star isn’t sustainable. Once more, that’s why the White Sox signed Grandal final 12 months, and the truth that McCann had a strong 31-game pandemic season — through which he had a .267 OPS in September when he was enjoying commonly — isn’t precisely convincing proof that he’s a top-flight catcher for the following 4 years.
There’s loads of purpose to consider that Cohen’s deep need to win and deeper pockets will lead the Mets to huge issues. Signing McCann isn’t it.