The Athletics acquired right-handed batting left fielder and corner infielder Mark Canha, the second overall selection of the 2014 Rule 5 draft by the Colorado Rockies, sending right-handed pitcher Austin House and cash considerations. The Rockies selected Canha from the Miami Marlins, where he played for the club's Triple-A team in New Orleans. To remain with Oakland, the A's will need to keep Canha on the 25-man roster for the entire year or purchase his rights from Miami.
To make room for Canha on the 40-man roster, the Athletics designated first baseman-outfielder Shane Peterson for assignment.
Mark Canha to Oakland
Canha turns 26 next year, and was the Miami Marlins' 7th round selection of the 2010 Amateur Draft, chosen out of the University of California, Berkeley, where he played with Athletics probable shortstop Marcus Semien. With Triple-A New Orleans in the Pacific Coast League, Canha hit .303/.384/.505 for a wRC+ of 131 in 537 plate appearances, hitting 20 home runs, walking 57 times and striking out 112 times. He played 51 games in left field, 40 games at first base, and 18 games at third base.
Canha was Marcus Semien's teammate at Cal. Stanford's Sam Fuld now outnumbered by Bears, with Jed Lowrie leaving.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) December 11, 2014
Here's a quick scouting report from J.J. Cooper of Baseball America:
A team looking for a backup corner bat could be interested. Canha has an above-average hit tool with average power. Primarily a first baseman, he can play third base or left field in a pinch, which gives him a potential backup role.
If Canha sticks with Oakland, he can do so as depth on the corner infield spots and in left field. He's basically what you wished Alberto Callaspo would have been, minus the "plays second base" bit, although whether Alberto Callaspo could play second base is a matter of contention.
As for first base depth, Canha allows the A's to really make sure Nate Freiman stays in Triple-A for 2015, with Billy Butler also ahead of Freiman in the right-handed batting first baseman depth chart. Freiman missed a chance to work on hitting against right-handed pitchers when he was forced up to the big league club after Kyle Blanks' injury.
The only question is who is out of the A's roster if Canha stays, with Canha representing a 14th player after Crisp, Vogt, Reddick, Butler, Davis, Lawrie, Norris, SOgard, Semien, Jaso, Punto, Fuld, and Gentry.
Asst GM David Forst spoke very highly of Canha, saying he could fit in both 1B/LF picture. RH hitter w/power #Athletics— Joe Stiglich (@JoeStiglichCSN) December 11, 2014
Austin House to Colorado
Right-handed pitcher Austin House pitched in relief for the Class-A Advanced Stockton Ports in 2014, making 46 appearances in 54⅔ innings with a 3.46 ERA and 3.01 FIP. He struck out 34.5% of the batters he faced in High-A, and had a 13.01 K/9 ratio. House pitched in the Arizona Fall League, where he tossed 11⅓ innings, striking out eight but walking seven towards a 4.76 ERA in nine appearances. Our Arizona Fall League preview projected House to be the closer for the Midland Rockhounds in 2015.
Rule 5 draft notes
Aside from acquiring Canha, the A's made no other moves in the Rule 5 draft. The A's were not eligible to pick in the major league portion because their 40-man roster was full and they made no selections in the Triple-A or Double-A portions of the draft. No team made any selection in the Double-A portion of the draft, in fact.
40-man roster history notes
With Shane Peterson falling off the 40-man roster, the last link to Miguel Tejada and the Matt Holliday trade is now minor league starting pitcher Jake Sanchez, acquired from the Chicago Cubs for Michael Taylor last June.
The new 40-man map, a high-resolution version of which can be downloaded (link):