The fire sale in Seattle continues and the Mariners traded veteran second baseman Robinson Cano and 24-year old closer Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets for veteran outfielder Jay Bruce and four prospects.
The deal will be officially done once all players involved pass their physicals. The Mariners will also send $20 million in cash to the Mets and cover some of Cano’s hefty salary. The M’s made a second big-time trade with a New York team in the last two weeks. In late November, the Mariners traded lefty starter James Paxton to the Yankees for their top prospect.
NY Mets Get: Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, $20 million
Seattle Mariners Get: Jay Bruce, Jarred Kelenic, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn, and Gerson Bautista
Cano, 36, served an 80-game suspension last year for failing the league’s substance abuse policy for testing positive for Furosemide. Cano returns to New York City, where he won a World Series with the Yankees in 2009 and played in pinstripes for nine seasons in the Bronx.
The Mets were a paltry 77-85 this season, even with the unhittable Jacon deGrom. The addition of Edwin Diaz vastly improves their bullpen.
Diaz saved 109 games in only two seasons with the Mariners. In his rookie season, Diaz saved 52 games. Last season, he saved 57 games and posted a 1.97 ERA with 124 strikeouts and a 0.79 WHIP.
The Mets added a bonda fide closer to anchor their bullpen. They also added a player that will have an impact in the community. Diaz grew up in Puerto Rico. New York City has a significant Puerto Rican population, so Diaz will already become an instant hero for New Yorkers with roots in Puerto Rico.
Cano, 36, grew up in the Dominican Republic. He throws right but bats lefty. Over his career, Cano is a .304 hitter with 311 home runs and 1,233 RBIs. Cano is also a two-time Gold Glove winner and he represented the Mariners in the 2017 All-Star Game.
In 2013, Cano signed a 10-year mega-deal with the Seattle Mariners worth $240 million.
In 2016 with the M’s, Cano just missed .300 but he hit 39 homeruns with 103 RBIs.
Last season, Cano sat out 80 games because he tested positive for Lasix. In only 80 games, Cano still hit .303 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs.
The trade made sense for the Mariners, who are no longer saddled with Cano’s expensive salary. Cano is due $120 million for his final five years of the mega-deal. Although, the M’s are sending the Mets $20 million to cover part of Cano’s tab.
The Bronx to Queens
Cano waived his no-trade clause to return to New York. He began his illustrious career with the New York Yankees in 2005. Cano played second base in the Bronx for nine seasons. Cano hit .320 and added 25 homeruns in 2009, which marked the last time the Yankees won the World Series.
Cano is not the first player to play for both New York teams, but he might set the most games as an ex-Yankee playing for the Mets. Yogi Berra, Willie Randolph, and Gene Woodling suited up for both squads. Former 2B Randolph played 90 games with the Mets and even managed the Mets for four seasons.
The Mets’ new general manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, is also Cano’s former agent. The two have a strong relationship, which is part of the reason Cano is now on the Mets.
The big knock against the Mets is that they might have given up too much in return for a young flamethrower and an aging Cano. Especially with a potential Corey Kluber trade in the works with the Cleveland Indians, or a three-way trade involving Noah Syndergaard.
The Mets shipped outfielder Jarred Kelenic, plus three right-handed pitchers: Justin Dunn, Anthony Swarzak, and Gerson Bautista
In the 2018 draft, Kelenic went #6 overall. Meanwhile, Dunn is a former first-round pick from the 2016 draft.
Dipoto Making Moves
Seattle Mariners‘ general manager Jerry Dipoto has been busy the last couple of weeks. First, he traded catcher Mike Zunino to the Cubs, which indicated the Mariners were in rebuilding mode despite winning 89 games last season.
Then Dipoto shipped lefty flamethrower James Paxton to the Yankees for their top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield. Now, Dipoto pulled the trigger on a Cano/ Diaz deal with his former team.
Before he entered the front office side of baseball, Dipoto toiled for eight years as a relief pitcher with a 24-27 record. The sinker-ball pitcher spent his formative years with the Colorado Rockies in the mid-1990s, but he also played for the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets. In 1996, the Rockies traded Dipoto to the Mets for Armando Reneyso.