Does Mark Canha Fit with the Mets?

Among the New York Mets pre-lockout signings was 33 year old outfielder Mark Canha. The Mets gave him a two-year, 26 million dollar contract with a team option for a third year. Canha, along with fellow newcomer Edwardo Escobar, adds desperately needed depth to the Mets roster. 

Who is Mark Canha?

Mark Canha is a solid hitter. In his seven big league seasons (all with Oakland) he has an OPS+ of 114. In his best season, 2019, he slashed an impressive .273/.396/.517 and had an OPS+ of 146. Perhaps Canha’s most appealing quality is his on-base percentage. Over the past three seasons his OBP has been .377. 

In the outfield, Canha is a serviceable corner outfielder. His advanced defensive metrics are not favorable to him, but he’s by no means anywhere close to a butcher in the outfield. Currently, on MLB.com’s depth chart, they have Canha as the starting right fielder.

Mets’ Gluttony of Outfielders

Their outfield options now consist of Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, Jeff McNeil, Dominic Smith, and of course, Mark Canha. However, with 5 options, the question then is: how much playing time will Canha get in 2022?

The Mets will likely rotate between their outfield options based on who matches up best on any given day’s starting pitcher and who is playing the best. In Canha’s case, he has been roughly the same hitter against righties and lefties. Manager Buck Showalter will have plenty of flexibility when penciling in his lineup card. 

Injury Insurance

Having depth on a roster is key to surviving injuries. The Mets won’t need to call up a journeyman AAA outfielder if one of their guys goes down. Furthermore, rotating the outfield will give everyone more rest and maybe even decrease the chance of injury overall. Canha will likely play somewhere between 120 and 140 games in 2022.

Final Thoughts

The Mark Canha deal is great for the Mets. A short, two-year deal for a solid veteran is about as safe an investment you can make. At worst, if he is underperforming, he’ll ride the bench and then the Mets can decline his third year team option (2 million dollar buyout). At best, he gets on base a ton and lengthens the Mets lineup. If Canha plays up to his potential, then the team option becomes a bargain. 

This Mets roster is shaping up to be much more competitive than it has been in recent years. Mark Canha is a guy who could add a ton of value to a team without being noticed. He will certainly be overshadowed by all the superstars on the roster, but he will play his part to help the team win.

 

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