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James McCann Traded from Mets to Orioles for Player to Be Named Later

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 22, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 05:  James McCann #33 of the New York Mets hits a three run home run in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on October 05, 2022 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

The New York Mets have traded catcher James McCann to the Baltimore Orioles, per ESPN's Jeff Passan on Wednesday evening.

The Orioles soon announced the deal and broke down the parameters of the trade.

Baltimore Orioles @Orioles

We have acquired catcher James McCann and cash considerations from the New York Mets in exchange for a player to be named later.<br><br>Welcome to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Birdland?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Birdland</a>, James! <a href="https://t.co/GoBKjlzvZm">pic.twitter.com/GoBKjlzvZm</a>

McCann, 32, signed a four-year, $40.6 million deal with the Mets prior to the 2021 season. He's still owed $24 million, and Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported that New York will be paying $19 million of that remaining money.

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

McCann has two years and $24 million left on his contract. The Orioles will assume $5 million of the contract, per source. <a href="https://t.co/thrSugcRaX">https://t.co/thrSugcRaX</a>

Mark Feinsand @Feinsand

The PTBNL going back to the Mets from the Orioles is not expected to be a notable prospect, per source. Even while paying down $19M of McCann's contract, because of tax implications and CBT recalculations, the Mets will save $8M in this deal.

Per Nathan Ruiz of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles designated Tyler Nevin for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for McCann.

During the 2021 campaign, McCann hit .232 (.643 OPS) with 10 home runs and 46 RBI in 121 games.

Unfortunately, injuries kept McCann sidelined for much of 2022, with a broken hamate bone and an oblique strain limiting him to just 61 games. He hit just .195 (.538 OPS) with three home runs and 18 RBI in 2022.

The Mets figure to roll with Omar Narvaez and Tomás Nido at catcher this year, with top prospect Francisco Álvarez waiting in the wings. New York signed Narvaez, a former Milwaukee Brewer, to a one-year deal this offseason. Nido has been with the Mets since 2017.

As for the Orioles, they already have their catcher and franchise cornerstone behind the plate in Adley Rutschman. McCann figures to be his backup and also could moonlight as a designated hitter against left-handed pitching. He's historically done better against southpaws (.777 OPS) as opposed to right-handers (.635 OPS).

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic provided more information on that front.

Ken Rosenthal @Ken_Rosenthal

Orioles see McCann as a No. 2 catcher who will take load off Rutschman, DH against certain LHPs and perhaps even play some 1B. They believe he was unlucky with his results last season. Had expected BA of .240 and SLG of .414. Actual numbers were .195 and .282.

McCann played for the Detroit Tigers from 2014-18 before joining the Chicago White Sox from 2019-20. He was an All-Star in 2019 en route to 18 home runs, 60 RBI, a .273 batting average and a .789 OPS.