Should White Sox trade James McCann?

(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images) /

The Chicago White Sox currently have 2019 All-Star catcher James McCann slated to be the team’s backup catcher this upcoming season behind Yasmani Grandal

However, Bruce LeVine of 670 The Score reports that the White Sox might move McCann in a trade with the hopes of acquiring a reliever in return.

McCann, 29, broke out offensively this past season when he hit .273/.328/.460 with 18 home runs and 60 RBI to give himself a 109 wRC+ and 2.3 fWAR.

Defensively, he left a lot to be desired which likely, at least partially, what led to the team signing Grandal. McCann ranked 107th in FRAA (-10.2) out of 113 qualifying catchers in 2019 (Baseball Prospectus).

After the team signed Grandal, it appeared that McCann was destined to become a DH/backup catcher for the team, although I personally thought the team had a few options to consider.

But, after the team signed Edwin Encarnacion, McCann was relegated to a mere backup catcher role.

McCann being moved into that role could very well mean that Zack Collins won’t be on the Opening Day roster or will be a strict third catcher.

Instead, the team might be better off moving McCann and his $5.4 million salary to another team if they can acquire a useful piece for the 2020 season.

That would allow Collins to take over as the backup catcher for the South Side at a fraction of the price.

Having a strong backup catcher with Grandal on the roster also is not nearly as important this season given that he is likely to play a minimum of five out of every seven days.

Obviously, the White Sox shouldn’t just give McCann away to the highest bidder, but they should definitely be willing to listen on offers for the backstop.

I question whether teams will actually be willing to deal a quality reliever for McCann in a trade, but if they can find a deal of that sort, the White Sox should jump at it.

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A couple of teams that could make sense for a trade are the Cincinnati Reds and Texas Rangers.