Mets Sign Regressing Mark Canha
Sometimes, when a player comes to mind, we tend to think of the one breakout year and not the collective body of work. Mark Canha is one of those players.
In 2019, Canha was terrific. He hit .273/.396/.517 with 16 doubles, three triples, 26 homers, and 58 RBI. He had a 146 OPS+ and a 4.1 WAR.
Defensively, Canha was good posting a 2 OAA in left and right. This was as complete and under appreciated and ballplayer as they come.
Canha was this player in 2019 and 2019 only. In all the other years of his career, he’s fallen far short of the OPS+ and WAR numbers. The more we see him, the more we see 2019 as his outlier year.
In many ways, that’s a problem. Remember, 2019 was the last year things were normal, and we tend to remember it more. Moreover, that year featured a juiced ball, and Canha with his career best .244 ISO benefitted.
Since that 2019 season, Canha hasn’t been the same player. He’s really been hurt by the lack the the juiced ball and aging.
Since 2019, when Canha was 30, he’s hit .235/.366/.393. He was a 115 OPS+ and 4.0 WAR player over that 200 game stretch. That’s not the same player.
That’s shown more through the metrics. His exit velocities dropped two straight years. The same goes for his barrels and hard hit rates. Put another way, this is a player making far less quality contact, and he’s at an age where these stats don’t typically improve.
Canha received a two year $26.5 million deal. That’s starter money. More to the point, Canha isn’t signing this early to sit on the bench.
The Mets could’ve and should’ve done better than Canha. Remember, he’s not the player he was in 2019, and he’s been regressing as he nears his mid 30s. Overall, this wasn’t a great move.