Blue Jays: How Mets’ McCann signing may affect the plans
It was the Mets, not the Blue Jays who made a solid signing this weekend, but that move could have a trickle down effect for Ross Atkins and his staff.
We’re still waiting for the Blue Jays to make an impact addition to their roster other than bringing back Robbie Ray, but after this weekend we might have a little more movement in that direction.
The Blue Jays weren’t able to get anything done just yet, but one of the other rumoured “big spenders” this offseason made a noteworthy signing. The Mets reportedly agreed to terms on a four-year pact with catcher James McCann worth 40 million. The Blue Jays were never rumoured to be in the running for McCann, however, this deal will likely have an affect how they proceed.
As I’ve already mentioned, the Mets are assumed to be one of the only other teams that are prepared to spend much to upgrade their roster. Like the Blue Jays, they’ve been attached to some significant names in free agency and trade, and the assumption is that there are a couple of players that the two clubs could be competing for directly.
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With the Mets signing McCann, that assuredly takes them out of the running for J.T. Realmuto, arguably the best catcher in baseball. The Blue Jays have checked in with Realmuto’s camp throughout the offseason, and are seen as a possible landing spot for the All-Star backstop. In fact, it might come down to the Blue Jays or Realmuto’s most recent team in the Phillies, although there are mixed reports about their financial strength at the moment.
It’s not just Realmuto’s situation that could be affected by Sunday’s news either. Another mutual target of the Mets and Blue Jays in George Springer is still available, and signing McCann likely won’t keep the Mets from bidding on the veteran outfielder. That may have been different if they’d signed Realmuto instead, as he may get 2-3x what McCann signed for, but as of now I’d suggest the Mets may even push harder for Springer.
Lastly, McCann coming off the market might help the Blue Jays find a trade partner for one of their own catchers. They currently have five on the 40-man roster, and that’s not going to last. Other teams that may have been interested in McCann could now turn to the Blue Jays, who should be ready to deal.
Of course, it’s possible that McCann signing in New York won’t affect the Blue Jays at all, but my guess is there will be a lot of direct impacts on other situations. It sounds like Ross Atkins and company have turned over almost every stone so far this winter, so hopefully they have a solid game plan from here.