With the Robinson Cano to the Mets trade rumors heating up, the details are shaping up, and it looks like New York will send Seattle major prospects.
The Mariners have been trying to to shed Robinson Cano’s contract so that they can continue to their rebuild with eyes to the future. They are so committed to get rid of the $120 million they owe him over the next five years that they’re willing to attach another player with him. Right now, it appears that will be their 57-save stud, Edwin Diaz.
The combination of Cano and the 24-year-old Diaz is drawing interest from the Mets who need a big arm in the back of their bullpen and are planning on starting Jeff McNeil at second base. Cano performed well while healthy last year, posting a .854 OPS, and Diaz’s 15.22 K/9 shows how dominant he was.
For the Mets, parting with the bad contracts of Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak is huge. That being said, the two of them are owed $21 million total next year, and just $13 million to Bruce in 2020.
The question is how much money will Seattle eat? The Mariners might not be willing to eat any if its taking on Bruce and Swarzak while giving up Diaz.
In regards to the two top prospects that the Mets are expected to trade, they are rumored to be Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, the third and fourth-overall prospects in the Mets organization. While losing Dunn is palatable, trading Kelenic is not. Last year’s first round draft pick had a .839 OPS in rookie ball and looks like he is going to be fantastic.
As much as Mets fans love McNeil, the Mets should try to include him instead of Kelenic. He hit .329 with a .368 wOBA in the big leagues last year, showing nice potential in the majors. If the Mets acquire Cano, McNeil will be relegated to the role of utility man, making him expendable in the case that the trade happens.
Frankly, this is a terrible trade for the Mets, a bad way for Brodie Van Wagenen to start his career. Instead of going out to sign a reliever — of which there are many in this free-agent class — and trusting McNeil to continue the success he had last year, he is gambling that a 36-year-old Cano will be worth $24 million per year for at least the next four years, something that is highly unlikely.
Including all three, as in one report, is unacceptable and the Mets must make sure they at least don’t do that. The Mets are also reportedly informing players that they are being included in the trade so it looks as though it will progress.
New York would be doing well to deal away Bruce and Swarzak, but giving up a litany of young talent for an aging slugger and a closer with one year of serious success is a gigantic gamble.