White Sox's McCann Looks Beyond Personal Agenda

McCann's role has been diminished because of the addition of Yasmani Grandal.

Bruce Levine
February 26, 2020 - 2:25 pm

(670 The Score) White Sox catcher James McCann has found himself in an odd place professionally this spring.

He resurrected his career with an All-Star campaign in 2019, only to watch as the White Sox added another All-Star catcher in Yasmani Grandal on a four-year deal in last November. Making matters more difficult is that McCann is on track to become a free agent after the 2020 season, and he won't have nearly as big of an opportunity to prove himself as he seeks to establish his market value.

"The business side of the game is out of my control," McCann said. "All that I can control is getting myself personally ready for the season. That is getting physically and mentally ready. The other parts will fall into place as it should.

"I have the support system of my family. At the end of the day, that is who you lean on."

McCann, 29, set career-best marks in hitting .273 with 18 homers, 60 RBIs and a .789 OPS in 118 games in 2019. He was also praised for his strong work with a young pitching staff. 

While his role has been diminished, McCann hasn't changed his focus, which has again turned to the development of young right-hander Lucas Giolito and right-hander Reynaldo Lopez, among others. Giolito had a breakout All-Star season in 2019 working with McCann, while Lopez struggled. McCann hopes Lopez can have a bounce-back season like Giolito before him.

"Our pitchers have had different paths to the big leagues," McCann said. "In this game, you are going to learn more from failure than you do from success. We saw that with Giolito, and I think Lopez will learn from his 2019 season. I think when it's all said and done for Lopez, he will look at the year of adjustment last season. Have it be a year of growth and a year of learning. He has shown up in spring training looking like a totally different guy."

The extent of McCann's role hasn't been detailed yet, and his fit with the organization in the long term is also unclear. And for now, that's fine by him, because he still has a job to do.

"We are preparing for a championship season, and again I will focus on what I can control," McCann said. "It's about winning today and winning tomorrow. Everything else will fall into place as it should."

Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine​.