5. Mets free agent signing Mark Canha
The Mets invested in Canha for $26.5 million on a two-year contract to be a reliable defender and someone that could get on base. So far, he’s been that, although I argued recently that his averages will probably not stand for much longer.
But let’s give the organization credit for identifying a veteran with a good knowledge of the strike zone as someone who can contribute to the team. Canha is batting .333 and has a .397 on base percentage, both would be personal bests if the season ended now (it doesn’t).
Canha’s approach to the season has been working in troves has been consistently hitting the ball to all directions, beating special defensive positioning, and is putting the ball in play, making opposing defenders’ lives tougher and applying pressure.
What Canha has also done is lengthen an already deep lineup that already has a lot of players who can contribute in their own separate ways. He’s allowed guys that usually bat around him like Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis, and Brandon Nimmo to get extra plate appearances, and some of those have proven to be fruitful and difference making in-game.
What also helps with the Canha signing is that it finally stabilized left field for the Mets, which was a revolving door after Yoenis Cespedes couldn’t stay on the field in 2018 and 2019. Many of the Mets’ ideas for everyday left fielder were players who just were never natural fits in the outfield, such as Dom Smith, Jeff McNeil, and J.D. Davis, who are now primarily infielders when they play defense. So Canha’s presence solved two lingering problems immediately.