NY Mets: 9 under the radar free agents the Mets should target
Mark Canha has been one of the most underrated players in baseball for several years now. The Mets could use his on-base skills.
The righty hit .231/.358/.387/.746 in 2021. He slugged 17 homers, 22 doubles, and scored 93 runs, mostly from the leadoff spot. He had an OPS+ of 111, a wRC+ of 115, and a WAR of 2.7.
The 32-year-old has one of the best eyes in baseball. He finished in the 91st percentile in chase rate, 87th percentile in BB%, and 72nd percentile in Whiff%. He’s a great table setter at the top of the lineup, and he’s got a little pop to go with it.
Canha is a candidate for positive regression in 2022. His walk rate of 12.3% in 2021 is the lowest it’s been in three years. His on-base percentage (.358) and OPS (.746) also fell to three-year lows. Those numbers, while low for him, are still good.
Canha can play anywhere in the outfield, and he also occasionally sees time at first or third. The defensive metrics are split him. DRS had him at -10 in left field, 0 in center, and -1 in right this season. It’s strange to see such a bad number in a corner spot and an average number in center, especially since he averaged a 0 in his career in left field before this season. Savant had him at -1 Outs Above Average (OAA), in left, +2 in center, and +2 in right. This is a good reminder that defensive metrics are fickle.
Imagine a lineup with Brandon Nimmo and Canha setting the table for a heart of the order? If Canha fulfills his positive regression, the Mets could have two guys with on-base percentages over .380. That’s something most teams dream about. With no option, and with zero chance of Oakland extending him a qualifying offer, he could be a good target for the Mets.