Mark Canaha will be hit harder than any of the other 11 free agents except A’s will, who will leave Oakland after signs of the team rebuilding, is coming this off-season.
Born and raised in San Jose before playing at Cal, Kanha indicated that he would not return to Oakland, where he spent his entire seven-year major league career.
“I mean it was really special. We had such a talented and fun group,” Canaha said in a foreshadowed interview on MLB Radio on Tuesday. As you can have fun. And Bob Melvin certainly took it easy.
“I’m gonna miss those… It was a good ride.”
There has been no indication that Cainha is close to signing a deal, but it almost certainly won’t happen in Oakland, considering MLB Trade rumors projects he’ll land a two-year, $24M contract somewhere.
Perhaps Kanha can reunite with his old manager and partner Cal alum Melvin, who left Oakland last month to become San Diego’s new manager? Melvin is reportedly already trying to get an old friend with him to San Diego. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the A allowed the Padres to interview Ryan Christensen to become Melvin’s bench coach, a role he had filled over the past four years at Oakland. Christensen was previously named along with third-base coach Mark Cootse as one of Oakland’s in-house candidates to replace Melvin.
It remains to be seen how deep A’s pay cuts will go, but they may not be coming close to their $89 million payroll of 2021. But the impending changes at Oakland could be dire and painful, especially if a wind up trading the likes of first baseman Matt Olson, third baseman Matt Chapman and starting pitcher Frankie Montas as rumored.
Canha is the first of A’s free agents to confirm that returning to Oakland will be a long shot. FanSided MLB insider Robert Murray reports that Kanha is taking serious interest from some West Coast teams. In truth, Kanha’s defensive versatility—he plays a solid first base with all three outfield positions—as well as his .344 career on-base percentage make him desirable for most teams.
Two years after posting a whopping .913 Ops with a career-high 26 homers, Kanha had a more than respectable year in 2021. The 32-year-old had .746 Ops, with a slash line of .231/.358/. 387 in career-high 625 plate appearances.
In addition to Kanaha, A fans might consider saying goodbye to another of Oakland’s new free agents: outfielder Starling Marte, catcher Yann Gomes, first baseman Mitch Moreland, infielders Jed Lowry and Josh Harrison, pitchers Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo, Jake Dieckman, Andrew Chaffin, Mike Faiers and Trevor Rosenthal.
None of them would feel the pain of being left out more than Canha, who spoke of his free agency with a little trepidation. Playing in Oakland over the last seven years was something that Kanha cherished.
“The fact that it was in the Bay Area where I grew up. My family had to come and watch us play whenever they wanted. That was also very special,” Kanha said. “That chapter of my career.. . It’s never lost on me how lucky I was to play in the Bay Area and I’ll always appreciate that and look back on that.”