The New York Mets traded catcher James McCann to the Baltimore Orioles, it was announced, and signed infielder Danny Mendick to a one-year, $1 million major league contract on Wednesday, sources told ESPN.
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 officially announced 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 McCann 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 COVID-19-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 (2014-18), White Sox (2019-20) and Mets (2021-22 ). He threw out 24% of would-be base stealers (8 of 34) this year.
Mendick, 29, was non-tendered by the Chicago White Sox, where 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.