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NY Mets offseason grades for the major winter transactions

Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (12) returns to the dugout against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
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Mar 11, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets catcher James McCann (33) bats during the third inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 11, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; New York Mets catcher James McCann (33) bats during the third inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at FITTEAM Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Mets sign James McCann to a four-year $40 million dollar deal

Since the days of Mike Piazza, the Mets have struggled to find stability at the catcher position. They’ve had some pretty decent players like Paul Lo Duca and Brian Schneider for a couple of years, but they were not stars or long-term answers.

The Mets tried to get their long-term answer by trading R.A. Dickey to the Blue Jays getting Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard in return. Travis was often injured and never came close to living up to the hype. But of course, he is now raking in Atlanta.

For the last two seasons, the Mets have been stuck with Wilson Ramos behind the plate. That experiment failed miserably. He had one good month offensively and was awful defensively.

This offseason, the Mets made catcher a priority. The biggest name on the market was J.T. Realmuto. The Mets opted to go after James McCann aggressively, as they feared Realmuto’s price would be too high and didn’t want to wait for his market to develop.

The Mets ended up coming to terms with McCann on a four-year $40 million-dollar contract. This is a contract I’ve got mixed feelings about. McCann is 30 years old and has had only one good full season. In 2019 McCann slashed .273/.328/.460 with 18 home runs and 60 RBI. McCann was an American League All-Star. This past season, the White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal so McCann only appeared in 31/60 games. In that limited sample size, he did perform well as he slashed .289/.360/.536 with seven home runs and 15 RBI.

While I am not positive his recent success is sustainable based on his track record, I do believe McCann will be much better than what the Mets had. His defense is much improved and the Mets really don’t need him to be an all-star.

The Mets have a very deep lineup which should have McCann hitting seventh or eighth most days. If he can be just a league-average hitter while providing good defense behind the plate, I think it will end up being a good deal.

When looking at alternate routes the Mets could have taken at the catcher position, I believe they made the best choice. If they had waited on Realmuto, McCann likely would’ve signed elsewhere and the Mets would’ve been forced to give Realmuto a lot more money than he ended up getting, which might’ve affected other moves they made. The next best option after McCann was Kurt Suzuki who is not moving the needle at all.

$10 million dollars a year for a top 10 catcher is not bad value at all. The Mets now have their catcher for the next four years. I’m a fan.

Grade: A-

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