Question #3: Will Mark Canha and Wiley Miley see their contract options picked up?
Two of the Brewers top performers this year were Mark Canha and Wade Miley. Canha came over at the trade deadline from the Mets and was the Crew's best hitter down the stretch, posting a .287 average with an .800 OPS. Miley became a key piece of the rotation while battling some minor injuries but pitching extremely well when the Brewers needed him most.
Canha has a club option for 2024 that's valued at $11.5MM with a $2MM buyout. Miley has a $10MM mutual option for next year that both the team and Miley have to pick up. Mutual options are rarely exercised by both parties.
The Canha decision could solve one problem for the Brewers before it really gets started. While he's an outfielder by trade, Canha plays a solid first base and he could present a short-term solution at that position after Rowdy Tellez struggled mightily in 2023. Canha showed he's still a quality hitter and his salary isn't too bad for the production that he brings. By putting Canha at first base, they solve one of their offseason needs while continuing to allow the young outfielders in the organization opportunities on the grass.
Miley's decision is a little more complex. Miley is going to be 37 years old next season and was already contemplating retirement. Now, after pitching to a 3.14 ERA this year in Milwaukee, Miley may want to keep going, but for how long? Miley could decline his end of the contract option and seek a two year deal but at his age will anyone give that to him and will he even want that?
Maybe Miley wants to go year-to-year the rest of the way. He could potentially earn more than the $10MM on his option if he were to hit the open market, but there's no guarantee.
For the Brewers, now that they know they won't have Woodruff, they need all the rotation help they can get and if Miley can continue to pitch like he did in 2023, they won't find anyone better on the market for less than $10MM. The Brewers like Miley and he's been great in the clubhouse, so a reunion makes sense, but will it happen?