The Milwaukee Brewers swung their first trade of the 2023-2024 offseason last week as they dealt Mark Canha to the Detroit Tigers. In return they received minor league pitcher Blake Holub. Holub had a breakout season last summer and is an exciting prospect who could move through the minor leagues quickly.
Milwaukee, who elected to trade Canha rather than pick up his $11.5MM 2024 club option or decline it and receive nothing in return, reportedly had multiple teams calling about his availability. MLB Insider Mark Feinsand mentioned that both the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics were involved in discussions for him.
Three total teams reportedly were in trade discussions with the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Mark Canha.
Feinsand mentioned a few factors as to why the Royals were interested in Mark Canha. His high on-base percentage, low chase rate, and quality of at-bats were a few reasons mentioned. Kansas City has a younger team, so mixing in a veteran player who consistently puts forth a professional at-bat would go a long ways.
Another team involved there is the Oakland Athletics. Canha spent his first seven MLB seasons with them so there is familiarity between the two sides. What is hard to figure out is why the rebuilding Athletics, who had the lowest payroll in Major League Baseball last season, would trade for him and make him their highest paid player by a wide margin?
Ultimately Canha did end up with the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers finished with the best record out of these three teams and are also a very young team that could use some veteran leadership. Mixing in Canha puts them one step closer to being a playoff contender in 2024.
At this time it is unknown if the Royals or Athletics had offers in for Mark Canha. Regardless it is likely that the return would have been of similar value than what the Tigers gave up, but for Milwaukee they have to be pleased with receiving a rising minor league prospect while simultaneously avoiding a $2MM buyout.
Going forward Milwaukee may make more trades this off-season. MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal has indicated that the team is open to listening to offers on virtually anyone. Trades involving higher caliber players such as Corbin Burnes and Willy Adames, who both have one year of team control remaining, should yield both a higher quantity as well as quality players.