Looking at James McCann as an Astro
With each passing day, the Houston Astros appear linked to another catcher. First came Willson Contreras, then Sean Murphy. For a minute, Christian Vázquez appeared to be returning. Then came whispers that they had contacted Tucker Barnhart and Jorge Alfaro. All the while, they have two promising internal candidates in Korey Lee and Yainer Diaz.
All that to say, somebody has to play the role of backup catcher to clubhouse favorite Martín Maldonado. Astros fans are growing restless as the roster spot remains unfilled, but might the patience Houston has exerted be rewarded? Is it possible their answer is just hitting the market?
According to Andy Martino, the New York Mets are now shopping James McCann and Carlos Carrasco. This is being done in an apparent effort to shed money after Mets' owner Steve Cohen's spending spree this offseason. Is McCann the solution Houston is looking for?
His career has been one of irregularity. In his two years with the White Sox, he hit .276 with an .808 OPS and earned one All-Star nod. In his seven season with the Tigers and Mets, he's only recorded a .641 OPS.
With the Mets now overloaded on catchers, could McCann be in need of a reset? Is his up-and-down career arc a story of fit? In his two years with relatively deep lineups in Chicago, McCann did a great deal of damage. He's struggled in lineups with lesser protection.
The Astros could be the team that offers him the necessary protection and they do have the available cap space to give McCann $12 million over the next two seasons.
Whatever team does land McCann, they'd likely be trading for him to start as it is unlikely a team would spend $12 million on a backup backstop.
If he were able to regain his form from 2019-2020, McCann could be just what the doctor ordered in Houston. Houston has gotten next to no offense out of their catchers since the 2019 season, when Robinson Chirinos posted a .790 OPS. It's no coincidence that team had one of the best offensive seasons in MLB history.
If the Astros can pick up more offensive production from their catchers, their already dominant pitching staff will render this team almost unbeatable.
What do we think Astros fans? Is McCann worth the flier for what he can bring when he's at his best? Or is the internal route still the path Houston should take?