Getty Images

James McCann signs with the White Sox

Leave a comment

Jeff Passan of ESPN reports that James McCann and the Chicago White Sox have agreed on a one-year, $5.4 million deal, avoiding arbitration.

McCann presumably lost his starting job when the White Sox signed Yasmani Grandal, and was suspected by many to be a non-tender candidate, but they chose to keep him in house as a backup and someone who can spell Grandal and allow him to DH on occasion.

McCann had his best overall offensive season last year, hitting .273/.328/.460 with 18 homers, but it was a tale of two seasons for the guy. Before the All-Star break he hit .316/.371/.502. After the break: .226/.281/.413, with a spike in his strikeout rate and a reduction of his walk rate. In his five previous seasons McCann hit a combined.240/.288/.366, so those second half numbers in 2019 seem far closer to the mark.

Maybe the Sox think they know something that make them think that first half was some new level for the guy. Maybe they just like him and want two catchers who could start for most teams on the roster.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

Getty Images
1 Comment

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.