Now 182 games into his tenure with the New York Mets, it’s painfully clear James McCann isn’t the same player he was with the Chicago White Sox. McCann signed up to become a temporary starting catcher for the ball club until Francisco Alvarez was ready. The timing seemed perfect. If all had gone according to plan, the 2023 season would be a slow transition into the Alvarez era behind the dish.
Unfortunately, McCann is an even bigger bust of a signing than the guy he replaced, Wilson Ramos. The Mets have McCann signed for two more seasons.
Now the holder of a .220/.282/.328 slash line in 603 trip to the plate for the Mets, he’s someone who struggled mightily in 2022 and shouldn’t be all that much better in 2023.
Mets catcher James McCann has shown no signs of turning it around next year
Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you.
McCann’s 2022 performance when healthy made what he did in 2021 seem so much better. Injuries certainly did take a toll on McCann and we shouldn’t be too shocked if he hits better than the .195/.257/.282 he managed to piece together in 191 plate appearances.
The numbers combined over the last two years show his ceiling and floor. Could he slightly improve upon the .232/.294/.349 numbers from 2021? It’s possible. However, with Alvarez’s major league service clock already ticking and Tomas Nido proving he has become a better hitter than McCann, there will be far less patience moving forward.
The Mets should be looking to shop McCann this offseason, likely with the only scenario that could work being a swap of bad salaries. Even then, the Mets might have to eat a portion of the $24.3 million still owed to him.
Nothing of what we have seen from McCann points in the right direction. He wasn’t even the starting catcher for the ball club in the postseason. It’s yet another hint of what the team thinks of him.
Whether it’s in New York or with another ball club, it’s hard to see McCann being much better moving forward. Catchers don’t age particularly well. McCann is one of the latest to remind us of this.