It seems like this trade has been done for a while, but the terms have finally been settled, as the Mariners have reportedly traded closer Edwin Diaz, second baseman Robinson Cano and some money to the Mets for prospects Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Gerson Bautista, outfielder Jay Bruce and reliever Anthony Swarzak.
Along with Diaz and Cano, the Mariners are sending $20 million to the Mets. If you offset Bruce and Swarzak’s money with the $20 million, the Mets are essentially getting Cano for five years and $63 million. And if you want to split the deal into two, then the Mets are trading two of their best (but not the top) prospects for Diaz.
Full deal is Diaz, Cano and $20M to #Mets for Bruce, Swarzak, Kelenic, Dunn and Bautista. Mets will pay Cano 5 yrs $63M once subtract how much owe Bruce/Swarzak plus $20M
— Joel Sherman (@Joelsherman1) December 2, 2018
Kelenic and Dunn were ranked as the Mets’ third and fourth best prospects, respectively, according to MLB Pipeline’s rankings.
Cano is 36-years-old and was suspended in 2018 for PED use. He was still able to slash .303/.374/.471 in 80 games for the Mariners. Meanwhile, Diaz was one of the best closers in baseball, recording 57 saves in 2018, with a 1.96 ERA in 73.1 innings.
Diaz is under team control through 2022.
The critics will easily pick this trade apart, as the free agent market has a plethora of relievers available and several solid options to improve in the infield. Obviously the Mets are going for it and in a vacuum I think this move is fine, but it really does depend on what other acquisitions they make to strengthen the rest of their roster.
Cano is obviously just seen as the salary dump in this trade, but he’ll probably be able to put up a few more good seasons despite his age. Yet, the final years of his contract might get ugly for the Mets.
But we’ll see if things start to really pick up after the first blockbuster trade of the offseason.
So far the Braves have signed Josh Donaldson and the Phillies continue to be linked to the top free agents in this class. The NL East might get real interesting in 2019.
Meanwhile, the Mariners continue their tear down. They previously traded starting pitcher James Paxton to the Yankees early in the offseason and are reportedly trying to trade shortstop Jean Segura as well.
p.s. Fine, I guess you can say the Paxton trade was a blockbuster too, but this deal definitely has more name recognition.