The Mets had "great conversations" with free-agent catcher J.T. Realmuto, team president Sandy Alderson said Monday, but moved more aggressively toward James McCann because they were sort of in a hurry.
"More than anything else, this was a timing issue for us," Alderson said. "We have a number of needs, and we can afford to wait to fill some of them. We can’t afford to wait to fill all of them."
Realmuto’s market was not moving quickly. The Mets last week reached a not-yet-official agreement with McCann, who will get about $40 million over four years.
That is much less money than Realmuto, who is better, is expected to receive. But Alderson said there’s lots to like about McCann, too. He had a .276/.334/.474 slash line with the White Sox in 2019-20.
"This wasn’t a compromise pick," Alderson said. "We’ve been engaged with James for a considerable period of time. There’s a lot we like about James. In terms of the two of them, part of it was our really strong interest in James and what he’s done over the last couple of years and what we think he can do for us going forward. But at the same time, we have had conversations with J.T.
"I don’t think that [most expensive] part of the [free-agent] market is moving all that quickly. When you have different parts of the market that are moving at different paces, you have to make some decisions."
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