James McCann Aug 18, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; New York Mets catcher James McCann (33) hits a double against the Atlanta Braves during the eighth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets freed up some space on their crowded catchers depth chart Wednesday, trading James McCann to the Baltimore Orioles.

ESPN’s Jeff Passan broke news of the trade, and Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported the Mets will receive a player to be named later.

The 32-year-old McCann, an All-Star in 2019 with the Chicago White Sox, slashed .195/.257/.282 with a dreadful 55 OPS+ in 174 at-bats last season in New York.

The trade helps the Orioles, as young star Adley Rutschman needs a break now and then behind the plate. Additionally, the Orioles “believe [McCann] was unlucky with his results” in 2022, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

But the move really benefits the Mets, who had been stacking up talented catchers on their 40-man roster like a kid collecting baseball cards. McCann’s trade clears up some salary room. McCann has two years and $24 million remaining on his contract, and Feinsand reports the Orioles will eat $5 million of that.

More importantly, the move clarifies the Mets depth chart. Rookie Francisco Álvarez, the No. 1 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, is expected to be ready to contribute in 2023. Omar Narváez, an All-Star with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2021 who signed a one-year free agent deal with the Mets last week, is on hand, along with Tomás Nido, who logged the most starts behind the plate for New York last season.

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.