Baltimore Orioles Trade for James McCann

Baltimore Orioles Trade for James McCann
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The Baltimore Orioles have acquired James McCann in a trade with the New York Mets. After a surprising 2022 season in which they won 83 games, finding a suitable backup for Adley Rutschman was one of the items atop the Orioles’ list during the off-season. The catcher teams up with the highly touted Rutschman, and the trade will all but end the Orioles’ search for a backup catcher. They had earlier declined to sign Robinson Chirinos, and they sent Anthony Bemboom back to Triple-A Norfolk.

Expendable in New York

McCann became expendable in New York after the Mets signed Omar Narvaez to be their backup catcher. The 32-year old veteran is still owed $24 million over the next two years. In a unique move, the Mets will cover $19 million of McCann’s salary leaving the Orioles on the hook for the remaining $5 million.

Veteran Catcher

James McCann is a veteran of nine seasons in the major leagues. Though he was limited to just 61 games in 2022 year due to several injuries, he is considered an above average defender and a great handler of pitching staffs. With a career average of 34% would-be stealers thrown out, he also has excelled at controlling the running game.

Designated Hitter

In addition to backing up Rutschman behind the plate and an occasional start at catcher, James McCann will get some starts as the Orioles’ designated hitter, especially against left-handed pitchers, against whom he has a .258 average. The versatile player might even see some time at first base, giving Ryan Mountcastle some days off.


The Orioles believe McCann is poised for a bounce-back season at the plate, after hitting just .195 last season. He is expected to be fully healthy and ready for spring training as well as a full season in 2023. During his 2019 All Star season, he hit .273. If he can come close to that average, this will turn out to be a great deal for the Orioles.

Rutschman Gets a Full Year with Orioles

The 2023 season will be Rutschman’s first opportunity to spend a full year with the Orioles. Hopefully, he will continue to lead this team with his bat, glove, and his pitch-calling abilities. The acquisition of McCann not only eases the strain on Rutschman by giving him occasional time off, but it also provides him a veteran to discuss the aspect of his game with.

Acquisitions Bring Leadership

Along with McCann, the Orioles have also added a veteran starting pitcher, Kyle Gibson. Gibson and McCann add not only their skills to the field; they both add veteran experience and leadership to a young and exciting team.

After a fun 2022 season, fans in Baltimore can’t wait to see what’s ahead in 2023. Adding both a veteran pitcher and catcher could prove vital to getting this team into the playoffs.

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James Marshall

James Marshall

Jim Marshall has lived in Phoenix, AZ for 50 years. He is an avid baseball fan, but enjoys all of Arizona's local sports teams, including Diamondbacks, Suns, Cardinals and Coyotes. In addition to the four major sports, he closely follows the Phoenix Mercury, Arizona Rattlers and Arizona State Sun Devils. Jim's passion for baseball continues beyond the field as he is an avid collector of baseball memorabilia. His favorite athlete of all time is Baseball Hall of Fame member Harmon Killebrew. In addition to watching, reading and talking about sports, he takes time to travel and appreciate the great state of Arizona with his lovely wife, Patti.

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