Mets trade James McCann to Orioles, sign infielder Danny Mendick

ByJeff Passan ESPN logo
Friday, December 23, 2022

The New York Mets traded catcher James McCann to the Baltimore Oriolesand signed infielder Danny Mendick to a one-year major league contract, it was announced.

The Mets will send $19 million of the remaining $24.3 million on McCann's contract to the Orioles and receive a player to be named later. The deal saves the Mets more than $5 million in cash and $650,000 for each of the next two years toward the team's competitive balance tax payroll.

New York entered the day with three catchers -- McCann, Tomas Nido and top prospect Francisco Alvarez -- on the 40-man roster, and they also signed free-agent catcher Omar Narvaez, whose deal is expected to be announced officially on Thursday.

McCann, 32, is coming off a season in which he struggled and lost his starting role, hitting .195/.282/.282 in 61 games. He had two separate stints on the injured list in 2022 because of a left oblique strain and a broken hamate bone on his left hand. Prior to his two seasons in New York, where he signed a four-year, $40.6 million deal, McCann enjoyed success with the Chicago White Sox, making the American League All-Star team in 2019 and hitting .289/.360/.536 in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 season.

Baltimore plans to use McCann in about half its games this season -- particularly against left-handed pitching -- as starter Adley Rutschman is already a star with less than one season of service time. McCann is a career .243/.296/.380 hitter with 78 home runs and 316 RBIs in 783 career games over nine seasons with the Detroit Tigers (2014 to 2018), White Sox (2019 and 2020) and Mets (2021 and 2022). He threw out 24% of would-be base stealers (8-of-34) this year.

The Mets didn't announce the value of Mendick's deal, but it's worth $1 million, sources told ESPN.

Mendick, 29, was non-tendered by the White Sox, with whom he'd spent his entire professional career after being drafted in the 22nd round in 2015. In 106 plate appearances this year, he hit .289/.343/.443 with three home runs and 15 RBIs. Mendick has played second base, shortstop, third base and both corner-outfield positions.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.