Canha's $11.5 million option exercised by Tigers. Báez keeps 4 years at $98M rather than opt out

DETROIT (AP) — Mark Canha's $11.5 million option for 2024 was exercised Monday by the Detroit Tigers, two days after the outfielder was acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers for minor league pitcher Blake Holub.

Milwaukee could have paid a $2 million buyout and allowed Canha to become a free agent.

Tigers shortstop Javier Báez declined to exercise an opt out, keeping four years remaining on his contract with $98 million in guaranteed salary.

Detroit also exercised a $3.5 million option on catcher Carson Kelly, who signed on Aug. 19, four days after he was released by Arizona. Kelly can earn $500,000 in performance bonuses for games as a catcher: $125,000 each for 95 and each additional five through 110.

Báez, who turns 31 in December, agreed to a $140 million, six-year contract before the 2022 season that included salaries of $25 million in each in 2023 and '24 and $24 million apiece in 2026 and ’27.

A two-time All-Star with the Chicago Cubs from 2014-21, Báez hit .222 with nine homers and 59 RBIs this year after batting .238 with 17 homers and 67 RBIs in 2022.

The Tigers designated left-hander Tyler Alexander for assignment, selected the contract of right-hander Keider Montero from Triple-A Toledo and assigned right-hander Trey Wingenter and left-hander Andrew Vasquez outright to the Mud Hens after they cleared waivers. They also announced that infielder Zack Short was claimed off waivers by the New York Mets.

Detroit activated right-handers Casey Mize and Freddy Pacheco, Alexander, and outfielders Riley Greene and Austin Meadows from the 60-day injured list.

Canha, who turns 35 on Feb. 15, helped the Brewers in their push for an NL Central title this year after they acquired him from the Mets at the trade deadline. The Mets received minor league pitcher Justin Jarvis in that deal and agreed to pay $3.26 million of Canha’s $3.5 million remaining salary for the year.

In 50 games with the Brewers, Canha batted .287 with a .373 on-base percentage, five homers and 33 RBIs. He produced one of the most memorable moments of the Brewers’ season by hitting a tiebreaking grand slam with two outs in the eighth inning of a 9-5 victory over Washington on Sept. 16.

Canha hit .245 with a .343 on-base percentage, six homers and 29 RBIs in 89 games for the Mets before the trade.

He has a .250 career average with a .349 on-base percentage, 113 homers and 417 RBIs. Canha has played for the Oakland (2015-21), the Mets (2022-23) and Milwaukee.