Jul 23, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann (34) against the Seattle Mariners at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
It’s clear that the Tigers wanted to give McCann an extended look down the stretch to determine if he’ll be able to handle the starting role next season. Alex Avila is a free agent and the prevailing wisdom is that both he and the Tigers will be comfortable moving on.
McCann has proven that he’s a perfectly acceptable option right now, and his youth and potential for development will put him in the average to slightly above category over the next few years. Plus he’s cheap and won’t be eligible for arbitration until the 2018 season and won’t hit free agency until 2021 (at the earliest).
He’s fine — even good maybe — but he’s not an obvious upgrade over the Alex Avila of the last few years. McCann is the baseballing incarnation of Olive Garden. Pretty good for the price, but not currently delivering extraordinary goods. Unlike the chain restaurant, however, McCann does have the potential to get better.
Next: Alex Avila