SAN DIEGO — Mark Canha understands there isn’t a lot of high-end inventory, so he’s relieved the Mets have been so aggressive in filling their rotation void.
The team reached an agreement with Justin Verlander on Monday Under a two-year contract worth $86.6 million, giving the Mets a decent replacement for Jacob deGrom, who was signed by the Rangers last week. Verlander, 39, gives the Mets an ace along with Max Scherzer.
“You love to see it,” Kanha told The Post. “At least when Jake goes to the Rangers, you think, ‘There’s a lot of aces out there, and they’re getting smaller.’ did and they did it, it’s great to see.
Verlander won his third Cy Young Award last month, going 18-4 with a 1.75 ERA for the Astros. As someone who previously played in Oakland and went up against Verlander in the same division, Kanha can appreciate what the Mets are taking on.
“When you face Verlander, it’s like a dance,” said Canha, who is 5-14 with a home run for the right-hander. “This a real chess match because you know about his repertoire, you know what he’s going to do, but he has different ways of taking you out. He’s got a lot of weapons in his arsenal and the way he plays, I always say he’s fun to play against – it’s really tough, but it’s interesting what he’s going to do.
Canha previously told The Post that he believed deGrom would stay with the Mets in part because of his conversation with the pitcher, which included deGrom saying he wanted to return.
But Canha said he wasn’t surprised to hear deGrom accepted Texas’ offer of $185 million over five years. The deal includes an option to vest for a sixth year, increasing the total value to $222 million. The Mets offered about $110 million over three years.
“I told the truth: Jake told me he wanted to stay, and I’m sure he did,” Kanha said. “But free agency is a very interesting thing because you go into it with one thing in mind and you have to even take your own mind because you have to react to what the market is telling you. And I think he did that.
“It didn’t surprise me that I went through this process last year. You have hopes, but you can’t really hope because you don’t know what’s going to happen and what other people think.
Canha said any anger fans have toward deGrom is misplaced.
“Jake is an honest person and I think he’s always open,” Kanha said. “People are mad, their feelings are a bit hurt and people on Twitter are even mad at me [for the previous comments]. As a player, you have empathy for free agency and the plight of players because you know you have to make decisions regardless of what the market is doing. I’m happy for Jake.”