The New York Mets have traded Justin Dunn, who was arguably their best pitching prospect, Jarred Kelenic, who was their sixth overall draft pick in 2018, Gerson Bautista, Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak to the Seattle Mariners for Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz. The deal has been met with both positive and negative remarks on social media.
Cano is 36-years old and has five years left on his deal. While defensively Cano is still a solid second basemen, he’s coming off a year where he only played 80-games and got busted for PEDs. It is unlikely that Cano would shift to first base since Peter Alonso seems destined to be on the opening day roster.
My question is simple: Do the Mets really need Cano? I’ve seen people suggest that the move makes the Mets better right now. Jeff McNeil is 26-years old and in 63-games with 225 at bats, McNeil hit .329. From what McNeil showed in his sample size last year, I don’t think there was really any need to go after Cano.
To some extent, the trade reminds me of the Roberto Alomar signing prior to 2002. Alomar didn’t play to the same level he had done so in years prior with the Blue Jays, Orioles and Indians. I’m not expecting a similar drop off for Cano, but he is certainly past his prime and with the price tag associated with him, this didn’t seem like an ideal trade.
Especially when you consider what the Mets gave up. The Mets do not have a strong farm system. That has been documented ad nauseam. In this deal, they traded two of their top ten prospects. Dunn being the top pitching prospect and Kelenic considered top hitter. The more I read about Kelenic and what he could possibly become, the more I’m petrified that for many, many years I’ll have to listen to people reminding me about this trade.
I could live with Dunn getting traded. Currently, the Mets have some good depth in regard to pitching. From all the reports I’ve looked at, the Mets have a surplus of 2B/SS prospects that they could have tossed into the deal, too.
But, the main objective here wasn’t to get Cano. He’s a higher profile player and is naturally going to get the buzz. The real prize is Edwin Diaz. He’ll turn 25-years old before Opening Day and is an elite closer. Last year, the Mets bullpen was an area I had no confidence in. The major positive here is that Diaz is under team control for four years.
The blow of this trade would soften if the Mets were to now focus on someone like Andrew Miller to shore up their bullpen. Going in a similar direction that the Milwaukee Brewers have gone where if they are up after six innings, it’s going to be difficult to beat them, may be the best direction to go in for the Mets.
The aftermath of the trade will see the Mets have a depleted prospect list, which has prompted rumors that Syndergaard could be moved in an attempt to bolster their farm system. That would cause some major head scratching from many Mets fans.
Not that the Mets haven’t caused that before and I’m sure they will again.