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McCann, White Sox avoid arbitration

Backup catcher agrees to a $5.4 million deal

Cleveland Indians v Chicago White Sox
Mac’s back: McCann has seen his role reduced to backup at catcher, but the White Sox clearly value his role on the club.
Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

The White Sox announced on Monday afternoon they had reached a one-year, $5.4 million deal with catcher James McCann, buying out the final year of arbitration with the 2019 All-Star.

The 29-year-old had a career year in 2019, hitting .273 with 26 doubles, 18 home runs, 60 RBIs and 62 runs in 118 games. He was the first White Sox catcher since A.J. Pierzynski (2006) to make an All-Star team. McCann ranked among the AL catching leaders in batting average (third), on-base percentage (third, .328), total bases (third, 202), extra-base hits (third, 45), slugging percentage (tied for third, .460) and RBIs (fourth). He was valued at 3.8 bWAR, which is more than half of his career total.

McCann signed with the White Sox last December 19 for $2.5 million after spending the first four years of his career with the Detroit Tigers. He’ll see his role likely reduced in 2020, given Chicago’s signing of starting catcher Yasmani Grandal last month. However, expect to see McCann get some reps at DH, as well as continuing on as Lucas Giolito’s personal catcher.

McCann was the White Sox winner of the Heart and Hustle Award presented by the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association.

Earlier in the day, it was also announced that reliever Thyago Vieira was released from the 40-man roster and his contract with the Charlotte Knights in order to sign with the Yomiuri Giants.