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New York Mets' James McCann runs to first base in the second inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Friday, April 15, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles acquired catcher James McCann and $19 million from the New York Mets on Wednesday night for a player to be named.
McCann was an All-Star in 2019 for the Chicago White Sox, but hit just .195 with three home runs and 18 RBIs for the Mets last season. He joins a Baltimore team that already has perhaps the top young catcher in the game in Adley Rutschman, but the 32-year-old McCann could be a capable backup and fill the type of role veteran Robinson Chirinos did last season.
McCann is due $12 million in each of the next two seasons as part of the $40.6 million, four-year contract he signed with New York in December 2020. As part of the trade, the Mets agreed to pay the Orioles $11 million in 2023 and $8 million in 2024.
He became expendable when the Mets agreed last week to a $15 million, two-year deal with free-agent catcher Omar Narváez that was announced Thursday. Narváez, who turns 31 in February, gets an $8 million salary next year, has a $7 million player option for 2024 and can earn award bonuses.
New York also has defensive standout Tomás Nido and touted prospect Francisco Álvarez behind the plate, and like McCann they both bat right-handed. Narváez provides a left-handed stick.
“We are excited to bring Omar to New York,” Mets general manager Billy Eppler said in a statement. “Omar has contact ability and solid approach at the plate, and his left-handed bat fits our roster well. Additionally, the defensive skill and experience he brings behind the plate will be great additions for the Mets and our pitching staff.”
McCann struggled at the plate with the Mets, hitting .220 with 13 home runs, 64 RBIs and a .610 OPS in 182 games over two seasons with the team. By the time New York entered the playoffs last season, he had lost his starting job to Nido.
Narváez was an All-Star in 2021 with Milwaukee before batting just .206 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 84 games last season. He spent the past three years with the Brewers and also has played for the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners. He is a .258 career hitter with 51 home runs and a .728 OPS in seven major league seasons.
Narváez would earn $50,000 for making the All-Star team, winning a Gold Glove or Silver Slugger or becoming League Championship Series MVP. He would get $100,000 for World Series MVP, $50,000 for MVP, $25,000 for finishing second in the voting or $10,000 for third.
New York also finalized a $1 million, one-year contract with infielder Danny Mendick, who hit .289 with three homers and 15 RBIs last season for the Chicago White Sox. A veteran of four major league seasons, the 29-year-old tore his right ACL on June 22 in a collision with left fielder Adam Haseley while chasing a foul popup.
Mendick became a free agent last month when the White Sox failed to offer a 2023 contract.
Following New York's agreement with Carlos Correa on a $315 million, 12-year contract, a deal pending a successful physical, the Mets could consider trading third baseman Eduardo Escobar, who is guaranteed $9.5 million this season and has a contract with a $9 million team option for 2024 with a $500,000 buyout.
Correa figures to play third alongside shortstop Francisco Lindor, and Luis Guillorme and Mendick are on the roster as backup infielders.
New York avoided salary arbitration with left-hander Joey Lucchesi, agreeing to a $1.15 million, one-year contract, his same salary as in 2022. Lucchesi spent much of this year recovering from Tommy John surgery on July 24, 2021, then made eight minor league appearances from Aug. 21 through Sept. 22
Lucchesi, 29, had a 2.13 ERA in 12 2/3 innings with 12 strikeouts and three walks.
New York also released 29-year-old right-hander Yoan López, who was 1-0 with a 5.73 ERA in eight relief appearances last season.
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