Washington: James McCann rumors, Nats not interested
Word on the street says there are a handful of teams interested in the services of James McCann. The Washington Nationals are allegedly not one of them.
A few nuggets hit the wire today regarding the Washington Nationals. One, is the apparent fleecing the Chicago Cubs are trying to pull in trade negotiations for Kris Bryant. The other was word of which teams are showing interest in free agent catcher James McCann. That Nationals weren’t mentioned.
McCann has gotten a lot of publicity this offseason as being the second best catcher on the market behind J.T. Realmuto. After five subpar years with the Detroit Tigers, McCann came into his own the last two years, playing for the Chicago White Sox.
He is a durable backstop who is a way cheaper option than Realmuto.
When Kurt Suzuki hit free agency this offseason as well, the Nationals were left with Yan Gomes and a bunch of youth on the depth chart at the catching position.
As much as some Nationals fans would love to have Realmuto or McCann in DC, with this news dropping, seems like the Nationals are either content with a different option at catcher or just aren’t prioritizing the position right now.
Not long ago we looked at the catchers who were on playoff teams last season. They didn’t put up stellar numbers in the regular season, yet helped their teams to the postseason, and actually provided a little power when the playoffs started.
As the speculation abounds this offseason, Nationals fans should start to put to rest the idea of their team signing a top tier free agent catcher. I have felt like all along the Nats would go with a cheap option here, to allow them more flexibility when spending big on their outfielder and help for the starting rotation.
High time we start to familiarize ourselves with likes of Bryan Holaday, Josh Phegley, or Austin Romine of the free agent market. Odds are that is who the backup catcher is going to be in 2021 should the Nationals stick to free agency to find their match. Even old friends Sandy Leon and Wellington Castillo are more likely to get the call as opposed to Jason Castro or Mike Zunino.
I am still holding out hope the Nationals make a trade for Gary Sanchez, but won’t be surprised if the team starts the year with Yan Gomes as the full time guy and Raudy Read or Tres Barrera as the backup.