The story all day long has been the rumor of a potential deal that would send 2nd baseman Robinson Cano and All-Star Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets. And the debate rages on if this is good for the Seattle Mariners or not. General Manger Jerry Dipoto has traded off Mike Zunino and James Paxton, it seems that a rebuild is in order and as this is the case, there isn’t much argument rather a sense of inevitability.
The package of Diaz and Cano takes two-star players away from the Mariners but what it returns is the removal of an albatross of a contract that is attached to Cano. While a good player in his advancing age Robinson Cano just recently was busted for PEDs and at over $25 million a year for 5 more years, the M’s just can’t afford to have him around.
The Mets for that matter really can’t afford to have Cano around, but by packaging the AL’s best relief pitcher in Diaz it becomes more palatable for NY. Diaz is 24, has several years of club control, and makes less than a million a year. The Mets went 77-85 last year but they play in a miserable NL East where talent wise, the Braves, Phillies, and Nationals are not far ahead of them.
The Mets have a new GM in Brodie Van Wagenen and a strong pitching staff—including a Cy Young. The Mets were miserable at the plate though and theoretically, Cano should help there. In a shortened season Cano did bat .303 and collect 50 RBI. Additionally, Cano showed that he can play 1st base, a position that the Mets could use help at.
The Mariners will feel a huge impact in the bullpen without Diaz. However, if the M’s are 2 years away from competing Diaz’s talents would be wasted-especially if he presents a large value right now. By the time the M’s are ready to compete, hopefully—I mean hopefully—they will have brought up a prospect to replace him. Right now the closing duties can be capably manned by Alex Colome and as 2019 will be a rebuild year, there wont be many opportunities.
Losing Cano isn’t that big of loss. Simply put, at this stage in the game, Dee Gordon is the superior defensive 2nd baseman and over the last couple years, the superior offensive player. Cano was most likely going to get moved to 1st base as his defense had eroded over the last couple years.
The true benefit for the Mariners is not just dumping salary, but it is committing to a rebuild. The team that the M’s had last year, over achieved at 89 wins and just doesn’t have the young horses to put together a 3-4 year stretch. Trader Jerry finally seems to understand that and is tearing the whole thing down and starting over.
The Mets should give the M’s a couple of good prospects and combined with other trades this off season, we could see a new look M’s who are younger and cheaper allowing Dipoto the freedom to add veteran role players to supplement budding stars in the years to come. The next couple of years are going to hurt Mariner fans, but it is needed.