James McCann just isn’t cutting it. The New York Mets catcher who signed a four-year deal with them before the 2021 season returned from the IL recently but hasn’t managed to deliver. It has been much of the same from McCann in his second year in New York except he has gotten worse.
After Sunday’s game, McCann is batting only .181/.256/.264 on the season in his 26 games. Neither of the backups have been particularly good either. What else would we expect from them?
July is a good month for teams to wake up and see their weaknesses. It’s the final chance to make a trade for an upgrade. The Mets may want to consider one at the catcher spot.
The Mets don’t have an answer at catcher and may need to trade for a solution
The Mets do have Francisco Alvarez now lurking in Triple-A following his promotion. By many accounts, he’s not quite ready to catch in the big leagues. Based on his offensive prowess, he does look like someone who might be an improvement at the plate.
Eliminating him from the equation, the Mets are left with McCann or his backup Tomas Nido for regular duties. Patrick Mazeika is also a consideration but none of the three look like anything more than number nine hitters you hope to get anything at all from.
Willson Contreras is readily available from the Chicago Cubs but probably too expensive for what the Mets might be willing to pay. At the price of at least one notable prospect comes a guy who has never caught these pitchers before. There is too much at risk even with the added pop he can give the lineup.
This does lead us to one final conclusion for the Mets. Do they simply punt at the position in the lineup? The Houston Astros are doing it successfully in 2022. Their catching duo makes the old Travis d’Arnaud/Kevin Plawecki platoon of yesteryear look like Mike Piazza/Johnny Bench in their primes.
If the Mets are going to continue on without trading for a catcher, it is essential they improve other spots in the lineup. Primarily, they need to get the best possible DH they can. To make up for what has become a near automatic out, they need as sure of a thing from an addition at another position.