Tigers acquire Mark Canha from Brewers in trade for minor-league pitcher: Where OF fits in Detroit

The Detroit Tigers acquired outfielder Mark Canha from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for minor-league pitcher Blake Holub, the teams announced Saturday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Canha has an $11.5 million team option with Milwaukee for the 2024 season with a $2 million buyout. If Detroit picks up that option, Canha will avoid free agency.
  • The veteran joined the Brewers at the trade deadline from the New York Mets, and slashed .287/.373/.427 with five home runs through 50 games with Milwaukee.
  • Holub, 25, posted a 3.03 ERA and eight saves in 48 relief appearances between High-A West Michigan and Double-A Erie last season.

What are the Tigers getting in Canha?

Canha fills two immediate needs for the Tigers: A right-handed hitting outfielder and a veteran presence in the clubhouse. On the field, it is not hard to see why the Tigers like Canha. He brings a solid combination of on-base skills and power. Canha has a career 117 wRC+ and a career .349 on-base percentage. The Tigers will presumably pick up the club option, but the 34-year-old Canha will be a free agent after the 2024 season. — Cody Stavenhagen, Tigers staff writer

Where will Canha fit in Detroit’s puzzle?

The Tigers pinch-hit more than any team in baseball last season, so it will be highly interesting to see how the Tigers mix and match next season with Canha in the picture.

Canha has experience playing all three outfield spots in addition to lesser stints at third base and first base. He has generally graded out as a below-average defender for most of his career but was worth three defensive runs saved in the outfield last season. Canha actually has better splits against right-handed pitching for most of his career (a .777 OPS versus righties and a .761 OPS against lefties) but posted a .826 OPS against left-handers last season.

With Miguel Cabrera no longer occupying the DH spot, it’s easy to see Canha spending time in both the outfield and the DH spot and platooning with Detroit’s three left-handed outfielders in Riley Greene, Parker Meadows and Kerry Carpenter. — Stavenhagen

What do the Brewers get in Holub?

Holub has a 4.45 ERA over two seasons in the minors. The Tigers selected him in the 15th round of the 2021 draft out of St. Edward’s University. Holub, who struck out 10.5 batters per nine innings across High A and Double A this past season, was not ranked among the Tigers’ top 30 prospects. The relief pitcher stands 6 feet 6 and is best known for a mid-90s fastball with good spin and vertical breaking pitches. — Stavenhagen

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(Photo: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images)

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