The Milwaukee Brewers have no more decisions to make on 2024 contract options as of Saturday, though the reason why may come as a bit of a surprise.
Going into Saturday had just one player left that had a 2024 contract option to be decided upon after they declined options on pitchers Justin Wilson and Andrew Chafin and Wade Miley opted to decline his side of a mutual option. The one remaining player was Mark Canha, who had a $11.5MM club option on his contract for next season.
The Brewers had until Monday to make a decision on that option and there were some reasons as to why it made a lot of sense for the Crew to pick up that option, as pricey as it was. Well as it turns out, Milwaukee won't have to make that decision after all.
The Milwaukee Brewers have traded OF/1B Mark Canha to the Detroit Tigers for minor league pitcher Blake Holub.
From an outfield perspective, it made sense for the Brewers to move on from Canha. The team is extremely deep at the position with seven other outfielders currently on the 40-man roster and stud prospect Jackson Chourio perhaps also set to debut in 2024.
The loss of Canha leaves questions at the first base position heading into next season, though. Both he and Carlos Santana, both of which were acquired at this year's trade deadline, saw time at first base for the Brewers in 2023.
That leaves just Rowdy Tellez and Owen Miller as current options at the position and the former has a good chance of being non-tendered this offseason based on his decline in production over the last couple years. Milwaukee will all but certainly be looking to upgrade the position over the coming months.
At the very least, the Brewers were able to get something for Canha as opposed to purely declining his option and the return is minor league hurler Blake Holub. The 25-year-old was a 15th round pick by Detroit in 2021 out of St. Edward's University in Texas.
Holub has a career 4.45 ERA and 1.295 WHIP in two seasons in the minors but took a big step up in 2023 going 6-4 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.071 WHIP, and 10.5 K/9 in 48 games of relief. He reached the Double-A level for the first time last season.
The move marks GM Matt Arnold's first trade of the 2023-24 offseason. Based on how the beginning of his tenure has gone, it likely won't be the last.