Finding a suitable backup for Adley Rutschman was one of the items atop the Orioles’ wishlist for the rest of the offseason. They acquired one before the first official day of winter came to an end.
Late Wednesday, Baltimore acquired catcher James McCann from the New York Mets for a player to be named. McCann, 32, has two years and $24 million remaining on a four-year, $40.6 million contract he signed with the Mets before the 2021 season, with MLB.com reporting the Orioles will pay $5 million of that without surrendering a prospect of significance.
In his nine-year career with the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox and Mets, McCann has hit .243 with a .676 OPS. He was an All-Star with Chicago in 2019, his only season with an above-average OPS+. In 2022, he hit .195/.257/.282 with three home runs in 61 games.
McCann figures to serve as a backup to Rutschman, who executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said during the winter meetings earlier this month would catch no more than 125 games in his first full major league season. Before the trade, Rutschman was the only catcher on Baltimore’s 40-man roster. McCann has also played nine games, six of them starts, at first base over the past two seasons, with a backup there for Ryan Mountcastle another area of need for the Orioles.
To create space for McCann on the 40-man roster, the Orioles designated infielder Tyler Nevin for assignment. The son of Los Angeles Angels manager Phil Nevin, Nevin was one of the three prospects acquired at the 2020 trade deadline from the Colorado Rockies for reliever Mychal Givens, who officially re-signed with Baltimore as a free agent earlier Wednesday. Nevin, 25, hit .197 with a .560 OPS in 58 games for Baltimore last season.
This story will be updated.