The Angels come in second place for yet another free agent — this time it’s catcher James McCann.
As Angels fans, we have become used to the team coming in second place — second place in the standings (or worse), second place in trade pursuits, and second place on free agents. This time around it is the latter. Although James McCann is not a marquee free agent by any sense of the word, he is still someone the Angels were pursuing. As has been shown in recent years, the pattern for the Angels goes like this: pursue a top flight free agent, miss out on that free agent, sign a second-rate star to a way-too-large contract. It’s been a proven model for Angels ownership.
James McCann has only had one above-average offensive season which came in 2020 within the shortened season. The New York Mets and new owner Steve Cohen must believe that he can continue this into the future to go along with his elite framing. They signed McCann to a four-year, $40 million contract earlier this week which many view to be an overpay even with his framing expertise behind the plate.
The Angels soon need to end this history and they might do so under new general manager Perry Minasian. James McCann certainly is not someone to write home about or get upset over the Angels not getting, but he furthers this poor narrative. The Angels’ big signings of free agents that they don’t develop themselves never pay off. Albert Pujols, Justin Upton, and Josh Hamilton all left marks as albatrosses for the Angels.
The winter is young and the Angels still have lots of time to overhaul the roster. They have lots of work to do also as they still need starting pitching, a bullpen arm or two, and potentially a new middle infielder. As has been noted by multiple outlets, the Angels ultimately did not up their offer to James McCann as they prioritize starting pitching — a good thing to hear.
Going forward, let’s hope the Angels starting coming in first and not second.