The Mariners are again at .500 after splitting a four-game set with the Minnesota Twins. The root cause for the two losses is the offense, again. They piled up the strikeouts and left many runs out on the field. With veterans AJ Pollock and Kolten Wong continuing to struggle with batting averages under the Mendoza line and Ty France's bat in cold storage, the need for a couple of offensive additions is a no-brainer. Now that Jarred Kelenic is out indefinitely with a broken bone in his foot, the Mariner's search for a bat is picking up steam.
Mark Canha, voted the "most punchable face" in the league by fans and Seattle media alike, is available. The slash line doesn't look great at .241/.342/.732. However, comparing the 34-year-old's performance to Pollock's and Wong's seasons, he's two steps above. He is also a perfect fit for this team because he's a grinder who takes his free passes (10.7%) and fans below the MLB average (17.2%). Canha also has a long history of performing well at T-Mobile Park.
Additionally, he offers defensive versatility, having played four positions this year (1B, 3B, LF, RF). Gone are the days when he'd run out to centerfield, but his ability to spell Teoscar Hernández, Ty France, Eugenio Suarez, and platoon with rookie Cade Marlowe in left field makes this a must-make move for President of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto. It also allows the team to cut bait with Pollock, arguably the most disappointing acquisition this season.
At 45-51, the Mets are buried in the NL East standings behind the Atlanta Braves, Philadelphia Phillies, and upstart Miami Marlins. Their chances of making a run are slim to none, and the media is already smelling blood in the water, with numerous stories hitting the wires about a fire sale. Cahna has a team option for 2024, which fits the model Dipoto described in his recent appearance on Seattle Sports 710's morning show, Brock and Salk.
"We are headed into the trade deadline. We've not really separated ourselves in a meaningful way to be aggressive on the buying end, but we're constantly trying to find ways to make ourselves better," Dipoto said. "We'll use these next couple of weeks of July to consider those ways, whether it's better to make a push for the 2023 season or to better situate ourselves for 2024."- Jerry Dipoto
It's hard to speculate what the Mets would want in return for Canha, but their farm system lacks high-upside arms. A couple of lottery tickets from the Dominican Summer League or Arizona Complex League would probably get it done. Who would've thought we'd be clamoring for the Mariners to trade for a nemesis whose claim to fame is racking up hit-by-pitches (117 in 8 years)and holding the title as the most punchable face? But here we are. It's been one heck of a year.