The Chicago White Sox bringing back James McCann should be an easy decision.
One thing that is an easy decision for the Chicago White Sox is the fact that James McCann was awesome for them. In two years since coming over from the Detroit Tigers, he has been one of the brightest spots on the White Sox roster. He spent all of 2019 as the main guy and he was so good that he was named to be an American League All-Star. In 2020, he split time with Yasmani Grandal and they formed the best catching duo in all of Major League Baseball.
That is a big reason to keep him around. If you have one Gold Glove type catcher that is really awesome but having two is even better. The White Sox had both guys nominated for the award here in 2020 and we will find out who will win it soon enough. Either way, having McCann come back should really be something the White Sox try and do here this offseason.
One of the biggest reasons why is the play of Lucas Giolito. Before McCann’s arrival, Giolito was one of the worst starting pitchers in all of Major League Baseball. When he was put with McCann, things started to turn around for him as he became one of the true aces of the league. He would be just fine with Grandal going forward if there were no other option but they might get the most out of both players if McCann stayed.
He is one of the best defensive catchers in the world as we already mentioned but he is also one very good hitter. He is good enough at hitting that he can be a designated hitter when Grandal is catching. His 1.2 WAR as a “backup” catcher was very telling about what he can do for the squad in terms of helping them win both offensively and defensively.
In the short 60 games 2020 season, he slashed .289/.360/.536 and had an OPS of .896. He hit 7 home runs and had 15 RBIs as well. In his somewhat limited role, he showed that 2019 wasn’t a fluke. He really is the type of player that makes the White Sox a better team in multiple facets.
It would surprise nobody if James McCann took starting money to have a starting role somewhere else. He certainly deserves it after the way he played for the White Sox in 2019 and 2020. The White Sox would be wise to spend starter money on him because he would also be able to be their DH when he isn’t behind the plate. He is worth every penny if the White Sox use him the way he should be used. Having him back in 2021 would make this team so much better than him not being there so the choice seems obvious.