After two years on the Southside the White Sox bid farewell to backstop James McCann, who after nearly a week of uncertainty following the original report, has signed a four-year, $40 million dollar contract to become the newest catcher in Queens according to Jeff Passan of ESPN.
McCann’s departure from the White Sox to the New York Mets was all but a forgone conclusion when the offseason began last month, but still, some White Sox fans held out hope that McCann would somehow return to Chicago.
After being non-tendered by Detroit following the 2018 season, McCann inked a one-year, $2.5 million contract for the 2019 season, and then re-signed with the White Sox for $5.4 million last winter after earning an All-Star Game appearance in 2019 with the White Sox.
During his time on the Southside McCann slashed .276/.334/.474 with 25 home runs, 75 RBI, and 3.8 fWAR in 587 plate appearances. With the White Sox committed long-term to Yasmani Grandal, McCann was never coming back to Chicago after posting two solid seasons.
Now, at 30-years-old, McCann has gone from non-tendered in Detroit to the starting catcher for the New York Mets on a newly minted long-term deal. So, congratulations to James and his family, you love to see a story play out like this.
Lance Lynn open to a possible extension with the White Sox?
Much was made about the lack of control the White Sox gained over Lance Lynn when they swapped Dane Dunning and Avery Weems for the burly right-hander last Monday night. The White Sox essentially mortgaged six years of control over Dunning for one season of Lance Lynn, an established veteran who can help them win now.
However, in a recent episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast with Chuck Garfien and the crew over at NBC Sports Chicago, Lynn made it seem like he’s ready and willing to listen to extension talks this winter/spring, highlighting the appeal of the White Sox window of contention being the desired fit for him.
“I focus on what I can control, but also if someone calls me and wants to talk about those things I’ll always listen, that’s the truth of the matter,” Lynn said. “We’re always open to hearing things, especially with the opportunity that’s going to be with the White Sox for the next couple of years for sure and maybe beyond there.
“You get a chance to win here, and like I said, that’s what I like to do, so if they want to keep me around and think I’m a fit right now for the next two-three years, then I’m all on board with having those conversations because I see a chance to win here, and that’s why I play the game.”
Lynn, 33, is entering the final year of a three-year deal that he signed with the Texas Rangers and is owed roughly $9.3 million in 2021. A one or two-year extension with Lynn would take him through his age 35-36 season and fits the White Sox contention window perfectly.
Lynn, who as he said on that episode of the White Sox Talk Podcast has aged like fine wine in terms of his craft, has been one of the most durable and productive starting pitchers in baseball for the past few years. I’ve heard one theory being that the White Sox should offer him the qualifying offer next winter, but the issue with that is that if he declines it and leaves, you only get a second or third-round draft choice as compensation, a draft choice that does nothing for the White Sox in their win-now state.
The White Sox would also be wise to start working on an extension with staff ace Lucas Giolito this spring, and with their proclaimed “financial restrictions,” who knows how much money they have to allocate to the two of them, but time will tell.
White Sox serious about landing Liam Hendriks?
Speaking of the White Sox allocation of funds plans, with former closer Alex Colome still on the open market, the White Sox have been connected to former Oakland Athletics’ closer, Liam Hendriks this week during the virtual winter meetings.
Hendriks, who will turn 32 before the spring, has been one of the best closers in baseball recently and was named to the All-MLB first team with Rays’ closer Nick Anderson this past week.
White Sox fans saw firsthand this dominance just a couple months ago when Hendriks ended their first postseason run in 12 years at the Coliseum in Oakland. Pitching to the tune of a 1.79 ERA (1.70 FIP), 39 saves, 13.3 K/9, and 5.2 fWAR in his last 99 games should alone be enough reason to be excited about the prospect of the fiery Australian closer coming to the Southside.
Fangraphs has Hendriks pegged at $12M AAV on their Roster Resource tool, and The Athletic’s Eno Sarris has Hendriks going to the White Sox on a three-year, $40 million deal in his latest free agent projections.
Bob Nightengale has tabbed Liam Hendriks as a “primary target,” of the White Sox right now, so hopefully something comes to light sooner than later. The lack of talk of the such over the past few days fits with the White Sox preferred method of operating in these types of things, so as Rick Hahn said to the media this past week about their remaining plans this winter, stay tuned.