Report: New York Yankees inquiring about catcher James McCann

New York Yankees, Yankees, James McCann

The New York Yankees are taking their evaluation at catcher extremely seriously, considering they have been linked to future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina, star Philly JT Realmuto, and White Sox stand out catcher James McCann.

Considering how Gary Sanchez performed last season for the Yankees, finishing with a .147 batting average, including a 36% strikeout rate and .253 OBP, inquiring about alternative options was always going to be a reality. The Yankee simply can’t trust that Sanchez will survive an entire season without injury and play at a premium level.

Defensively, Sanchez also struggled, ending the year with a .987 fielding percentage, five passed balls, and five errors over 41 games played. He was evidently replaced by Kyle Higashioka during the postseason and lost his rights to catch for ace Gerrit Cole. His entire game fell to a new low, earning a negative WAR for the first time in his career (-0.1).

The New York Yankees are being forced to make a move:

If the Yankees want to feel consistent and confident at the catcher position, they might have to make a move to shore it up. They are still debating on whether to tender Sanchez a cheap one year deal to keep him in pinstripes, as he is set to hit arbitration in 2022.

Nonetheless, according to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, the Yankees have recently inquired about James McCann of the White Sox.

McCann, who is hitting the market this year as a free agent, had himself a motivating 2020 season, finishing with a .289 batting average, seven homers, and 15 RBIs. He has some power to his game, but also struck out 27% of the time and logged a 1.5 WAR. He’s had two solid seasons with Chicago after struggling with the Detroit Tigers several years ago.

McCann also played solid defense, allowing four errors and just two passed balls over 30 games. He did miss some time behind the plate in 2020 — the Yankees might be able to secure him on a moderate deal to help solidify a position of question.

Nonetheless, this is all just hot stove chatter for the time being, but it is interesting to see how GM Brian Cashman is investing time at evaluating catcher options in free agency. Could this be a sign of what’s to come? Possibly.