Chicago Cubs: Five designated hitter candidates team could pursue

Nelson Cruz, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Nelson Cruz, Chicago Cubs (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs, James McCann (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: James McCann

Assuming no trades take place, the Cubs are already set at the catcher position with Willson Contreras as the starter and Victor Caratini as the backup for 2021. However, if the DH is in place next year, what’s another catcher to have that you can also use at DH – while spelling Contreras sometimes as well?

J.T. Realmuto is the big prize this offseason at this position, but again the Cubs won’t be suitors for him. However, a lower-cost alternative could be former White Sox catcher James McCann.

McCann, who will be 31 next year, broke out with the White Sox in 2019 after previously playing in Detroit. That year, he hit 26 doubles and 18 home runs, earning a spot on the AL All-Star team. When the South Siders brought in Yasmani Grandal, a lot of people thought McCann would be expendable.

Instead, they held onto him, and he had another good year in which he posted an .896 OPS in 31 games. He was batting .333 at late as September 9, though he tailed off a little bit at the end of the season.

In addition, McCann is a decent catcher, posting a positive defensive WAR every year since 2015. So again, he would be a nice player to mix and match with Contreras between the catcher and DH positions in 2021. If the Cubs are looking to add depth at the catcher position while adding a solid bat to their lineup, perhaps they should take a look at McCann.