The Orioles checked off another item on their offseason to-do list on Wednesday night. This time, they went to the trade market to fill one of the holes on their roster.
McCann has two years and $24 million left on his contract, but the Orioles will assume only $5 million of that total, a source told MLB.com executive reporter Mark Feinsand. The player the Mets will receive is not expected to be a notable prospect, according to the source.
It’s a low-risk, potentially high-reward move for Baltimore, which needed a No. 2 catcher after Robinson Chirinos became a free agent. McCann, a nine-year big league veteran who has played for the Tigers, White Sox and Mets, was an All-Star with Chicago in 2019, when he had a slash line of .273/.328/.460 with 18 homers and 60 RBIs in 118 games.
However, McCann wasn’t quite as productive over his two-year stint in New York. He was limited to 61 games in 2022, due to two trips to the injured list (for a hamate bone fracture in his left wrist and a left oblique strain). The right-handed batter slashed .195/.257/.282 with three homers and 18 RBIs in ’22.
In addition to backing up Rutschman behind the plate, McCann could get some starts at designated hitter, especially against left-handed pitchers. He has a .258/.325/.452 career slash line against southpaws as opposed to a .237/.284/.351 line against righties.
McCann also played nine games at first base over the past two seasons, so he may be an option to get some time there on Ryan Mountcastle’s days off.
The O’s aren’t likely to add many more big league players this offseason. They’ve acquired a starting pitcher (right-hander Kyle Gibson), a versatile infielder/outfielder (Adam Frazier) and an experienced bullpen arm (righty Mychal Givens) via free agency and have now traded for McCann. It is still possible Baltimore will look to bring in another starter to boost its rotation.