New York Mets, catcher James McCann finalizing four-year deal, sources say

Catcher James McCann and the New York Mets are finalizing a four-year contract for $40 million-plus, sources told ESPN's Jeff Passan.

The Athletic first reported the sides were close to a deal.

McCann, 30, shared catching duties last season with Yasmani Grandal, whose deal with the Chicago White Sox last offseason averaged $18.3 million per season -- a record in free agency for a catcher.

McCann had a career-high .289 batting average with seven home runs and 15 RBIs in 31 games during the pandemic-shortened season, cutting down on his strikeout rate after a career-worst 137 strikeouts in 2019. Despite the Grandal deal (four years, $73 million), McCann stayed with the White Sox, avoiding arbitration by reaching a one-year, $5.4 million deal that more than doubled his salary from 2018.

He earned his first All-Star selection in 2018, setting new career benchmarks with a .273 batting average, 18 home runs and 60 RBIs. He also played a pivotal role in the development of front-line starting pitcher Lucas Giolito.

He was selected by the White Sox in the 31st round of the 2008 amateur draft but opted to go to the University of Arkansas before being picked by the Detroit Tigers in the second round of the 2011 draft. He made his major league debut in 2014.

In seven major league seasons, McCann has a .249 batting average with 65 home runs and 252 RBIs. He also has thrown out 36.3% of runners attempting to steal (127 of 354) over his career.

The Mets were in need of a starting catcher after declining Wilson Ramos' option for the 2021 season.

McCann is the second notable free agent added by the Mets, who also signed reliever Trevor May to a two-year contract.