The awful deal that will send Robinson Cano and most of his huge contract, along with stud reliever Edwin Diaz, to the Mets is official. So now with have to live with that reality.
In exchange for the pair, the Mets are sending Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, former first round picks Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, and Gerson Bautista to Seattle. Obviously no one will miss Swarzak. But Bruce could still have value. And the three minor leaguers — especially Kelenic — have a lot of promise.
The Mariners are only sending $20 million to Flushing, so the Mets are on the hook for $100 million over the next five years. Take away Bruce’s $26 million and Swarzak’s $8 million, and that effectively reduces the tab on Cano to $13 million per year. But the Mets have to replace Swarzak and will probably sign another outfielder, so in reality, the Mets are paying Cano that $20 million per year.
Cano, of course, is 36 years old and is coming off a PED suspension. Even without that baggage, there would be questions about how much Cano has left. Throw in playing without the juice (probably for the first time) and Brodie Van Wagenen’s had to keep his eyes tightly shut to avoid those giant red flags flying in his face.
Diaz, of course, is the prize here. At age 24, he saved 57 games with a 1.97 ERA. He has four more years of control, so he will work relatively cheaply. But relievers are tough to judge (see Sandy Alderson). Is Diaz the real deal or not? For less than the money they are paying Cano, the Mets could have signed a top-notch free agent closer and kept their prospects.
Having said all of that, Mets fans complained for years over Alderson’s timidity when it came to building a team. And here comes Van Wagenen with the boldest move we’ve seen out of this front office since the Mets traded for Mike Piazza. We may not like the deal, but at least something is happening in Flushing.