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Mets catcher options to explore in free agency this winter

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 11: Wilson Ramos #40 of the New York Mets fields the ball against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on August 11, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 11: Wilson Ramos #40 of the New York Mets fields the ball against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on August 11, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
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DETROIT, MI – AUGUST 12: James McCann #33 of the Chicago White Sox throws a baseball during the game against the Detroit Tigers at at Comerica Park on August 12, 2020 in Detroit, Michigan. The White Sox defeated the Tigers 7-5. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Mets free agent catcher candidate – James McCann

James McCann might be, in my eyes, the best candidate for the Mets to replace Ramos this winter. I understand he’s not Realmuto. I’m thinking beyond just 2021.

I have high hopes for catching prospect Francisco Alvarez. He won’t be in the big leagues for a few more seasons, but when he is ready, I want to see him get every start possible. A deal with Realmuto may overlap with Alvarez’s progression, leaving the Mets in yet another position where they have two capable players at one position.

McCann won’t cost as much as Realmuto which can allow them to invest more at other positions. The starting rotation will certainly need a boost this winter. He’s only one year older than Realmuto and he has stayed relatively healthy since becoming a regular back in 2015.

McCann is a little bit of a gamble because of how well he has played since joining the Chicago White Sox in 2019. He hit .273/.328/.460 with 18 home runs in 2019 and was an All-Star for the first time in his career. Each number from that slash line was well above his career totals.

Fortunately for his free agent case, McCann has continued to hit well in 2020. We’ll have to wait and see how long he can maintain it.

Known mostly as a defensive catcher, McCann may be able to give the Mets the short-term boost they need both behind and at the dish. He’s certainly a better hitter than an internal option like Tomas Nido.

At a respectable price, I think McCann could be a great addition to the Mets. He won’t single-handedly win them a World Series. He can save the pitchers from a lot of aggravation.

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