The New York Mets seem to be inching closer to addressing two of their three largest needs this offseason.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Wednesday afternoon that the Mets are “getting close” to a four-year deal with catcher James McCann. This shortly after SNY’s Andy Martino said the team was “engaged” with center fielder George Springer.
McCann is widely regarded as the second-best catcher available in this year’s free-agency class behind JT Realmuto, who the Mets were originally linked to, but they would have had to shell out major money while also trying to address other pressing team needs.
Realmuto is expected to make approximately $20 million per season in his next deal while McCann could be making half of that.
The 30-year-old McCann is coming off his best two seasons as a pro with the Chicago White Sox, slashing .276/.334/.474 with 25 home runs and 75 RBI over 149 games. It included a first-ever All-Star Game selection in 2019.
A four-year deal would naturally create pause for any team in on a veteran catcher considering the added wear-and-tear on the body that comes with playing the position. But it is still a cheaper option compared to Realmuto for one of the top catchers in the game.
As for Springer, the speculation continues to point toward the former Houston Astros star heading to Queens.
Two of ESPN’s MLB insiders, Buster Olney and Jeff Passan, shared their belief this week that the Mets will come away with the center fielder’s signature before Martino’s report.
There is reported competition from the Toronto Blue Jays, who have also been linked to notable free agents like Yankee star DJ LeMahieu. However, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported that the Blue Jays are also pursuing pitcher Mike Fiers, who was the whistleblower of the Astros’ cheating scandal in 2017, which Springer was a part of. That would present the possibility of tension in the clubhouse if both players were introduced in Toronto.
Coming away with both McCann and Springer would allow the Mets to spend the rest of their offseason addressing the starting pitching depth. Trevor Bauer is the crown jewel of the market and would create one of the best duos in baseball alongside Jacob deGrom.
“New York is… Well, he likes where the organization is going,” Rachel Luba, Bauer’s agent, told the Daily News. “It can definitely be a landing spot.”