The one player not returning that is a knock on the team is James McCann. It isn’t a lock that he will be gone (in theory) but he deserves to be paid like a starter and get a starter salary. He has been nothing short of sensational since coming over to the Chicago White Sox from the Detroit Tigers. A lot of teams are going to be calling him with big-time offers. With Yasmani Grandal in the mix making a lot of money, it is hard to see them paying McCann what he is worth.
McCann’s defense was the biggest praise for him as he came to Chicago. He is an elite pitch framer and defensive catcher. His 2020 Gold Glove nomination made it where both White Sox catchers were nominated for the award. He was also huge in helping Lucas Giolito turn his career around on the mound. The young pitchers benefit from having him around.
One thing that exploded for McCann in Chicago is his offense. He was a decent offensive player in Detroit but he was all-star worthy in two years with the Sox. In 2020, he slashed .289/.360/.536 with an OPS of .896. His all-around game as a catcher is elite and something people will pay big bucks for.
James deserves to be treated like a starter. He may, in light of the pandemic and all of the issues that come with that, decide to just come back to Chicago but it isn’t guaranteed. We would like to have him back but it doesn’t seem likely at this point in time. He is the one on this list that we actually want back but the most important thing is that they are all replaced with good players.