1:05pm: McCann will receive $2.5MM on a one-year deal, per Fancred’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link).
12:51pm: The White Sox have agreed to terms with free-agent catcher James McCann, pending a physical, reports Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). The 28-year-old, who was non-tendered by the Tigers earlier this month, will remain in the AL Central after spending the entirety of his career in the Detroit organization to this point. He’s represented by the Ballengee Group.
As recently as the 2017 season, McCann served as the Tigers’ primary catcher and hit .253/.318/.415 with a career-high 13 home runs. However, his offense cratered in 2018 (.220/.267/.314, eight home runs in 457 plate appearances), and his once-excellent numbers against left-handed pitching were particularly concerning. In 109 PAs against southpaws last year, McCann hit just .176/.229/.284.
On the defensive side of the coin, McCann has continually been sensational in terms of controlling the running game. He’s registered at least a 30 percent caught-stealing rate in each of his four full big league seasons, including a 36 percent mark in 2018 and an overall rate of 37 percent. He’s been well below-average in terms of pitch framing across the past two seasons, though, and has struggled similarly in terms of blocking balls in the dirt.
Presumably, he’ll give the White Sox an option to step into the void created by the trade of Omar Narvaez to the Mariners (in exchange for Alex Colome). Veteran Welington Castillo is still atop Chicago’s depth chart behind the plate, making McCann the favorite to serve as his backup. Certainly, further offseason maneuvering can change that fact, and it’s of course worth noting that it’s not yet clear whether McCann received a guaranteed one-year deal or is headed to Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.