Red Sox outfield target Mark Canha
Mark Canha might go a bit overlooked due to his meager .231 batting average but he’s always had a knack for getting on base. His .358 OBP ranked 14th in the American League this season.
The batting average might not improve much if he continues to strike out over 20 percent of the time but he offsets that concern by drawing walks at a high rate. His 12.3 BB% tied for 11th in the league.
Kike thrived when he was moved to the top of the Red Sox order this year but he doesn’t really fit the profile of a leadoff hitter due to his relatively low OBP. Canha would be a preferable choice for that role, allowing Hernandez to move down in the order to a spot where his power can drive in more runs.
Canha has modest power with 17 home runs this year. He smacked a career-high 26 homers in 2019, which shows there’s more upside in his swing. Canha matched his career-high with 22 doubles this season and we would expect the right-handed pull hitter to improve upon that total if he moves to Fenway Park to take aim at the Green Monster.
He’s not a strong defensive player but Canha is capable of playing all three outfield spots. The Red Sox are currently thin on viable outfielders unless Jarren Duran makes another leap in his development. Canha could provide depth as a potential fourth outfielder in the short-term. His presence could also allow Hernandez to stick at second base to boost a Red Sox infield defense that desperately needs an upgrade.
Canha will turn 33 before next season so he’ll probably settle for a short-term contract. He’s projected for a two-year, $24 million deal. He’s not quite a bargain at that price if he’s only the team’s fourth outfielder but if he cements and everyday role for himself at the top of the lineup, Canha should be well worth that salary.