Expectations for Mark Canha

Sep 12, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Mark Canha (20) bats during
Sep 12, 2021; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Mark Canha (20) bats during / Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets made three splashes on Black Friday to try and bolster a lineup that finished 27th at 3.93 runs per game. They signed Starling Marte to play center field and Eduardo Escobar to play third base. The third signing they made, and in my opinion the most underrated of the bunch, was the signing of Mark Canha.

The Mets signed Canha to a two-year $26.5 million dollar deal. He's set to make $12 million dollars this season and $10.5 million dollars next season. The deal also has a club option for the 2024 season worth $11.5 million dollars with a $2 million dollar buyout.

Canha will start in one of the corner outfield spots, my guess is right field, with Brandon Nimmo playing left field. A player I think Canha is very similar to in regards to his offensive game is Nimmo. He might not have the speed Nimmo has, but Nimmo doesn't have the power Canha has. Both of them walk a ton and rely on a high OBP to be productive.

He's coming off a down year, but in the last three seasons Canha has a slash line of .249/.377/.438 with 48 home runs and 152 RBI. He averages 16 home runs per season which is not bad at all, and that combined with his on base skills has him as one of the better and more underrated hitters in the game.

The New York Mets signed Mark Canha to try and help rejuvenate a lineup that finished towards the bottom in runs per game last season.

Canha is tied for seventh in the American League since the start of the 2019 season with a 129 WRC+. That's a better mark than guys like Marcus Semien, J.D. Martinez, and Jose Altuve in that stretch.

I am a big fan of Canha's offensive profile, but this signing does come with a fair amount of risk. Canha is 33 years old and has an injury history. He's coming off a season in which he set a career-high in games played at 141. He did stay healthy in the 60 game season, but prior to that Canha had not played more than 126 games. Since he is in his mid-thirties, the injury problems could very well be an issue for a team that seems to go through a boatload of injuries every year.

Canha's bat also took a step back in 2021. In the second half of the season, he slashed .206/.340/.319 with six home runs and 28 RBI. Canha was dealing with a hip injury, something that has plagued him for years, so that could be a big reason why he was struggling. However, is that going to be healed? Will it continue to bother Canha during his two guaranteed years in New York?

With Brandon Nimmo's lengthy injury history the Mets need Canha to be on the field and to be productive. It's hard to say with any certainty that the 33 year old would be able to do both for both years.

I believe the addition of the DH will be very important for Canha to stay in the lineup while also getting part of games off from the field. Canha is not an elite defender by any means so having a DH actually helps in that regard as well. I believe the Mets should sign a high quality fourth outfielder who they know can fill in and play well with two thirds of the outfield posing big question marks in terms of their health.

With all of that being said, I think Canha was a good signing. I think he will help the lineup a lot and be productive for a team I expect to compete for the postseason. I expect Canha to hit in the middle of the order and get on base while also driving in guys who are on base. I expect him to be a league average defender who can hopefully stay on the field enough to be a 3-4 win player.

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