Seattle Mariners and New York Mets complete a trade after missing out on last seasons playoffs
The Seattle Mariners and New York Mets have recently finalized a blockbuster trade, encompassing the two very different tracks each team is on. The Mets believe they still have an opportunity to win now, whereas the Mariners are cutting costs and focusing on the future. The Mets division, the National League East, is proving to be one of the most exciting and rapidly improving league in baseball, with all teams, besides for the Marlins, looking to compete for top spot. This trade will dramatically change the look of the Mets roster, with Robinson Cano taking over second base and being placed in the middle of the lineup, and Edwin Diaz becoming the everyday closer. Recently, the Philadelphia Phillies have traded for shortstop Jean Segura, and the Nationals have signed starting pitcher Patrick Corbin to counter the Mets’ activities. The Mets general manager has made it clear that there will be more moves on the horizon, saying, “We did not make this move to have this be the last move... We want to bolster the team, improve our production next season and add more players around this.” To add to the competitive nature of the offseason moves for National League East, Fred Wilpon, owner of the Mets, admitted he made the trade for Diaz partially to block him from going to the rival, Phillies. This flurry of moves is good for the division and the sport as a whole, bringing excitement back to New York and other large markets.
In this trade, the Mets only received two players — as well as cash considerations from the Mariners. However, as mentioned before, these two players fill a void and made the club better from day one. Diaz just won the Mariano Rivera award for best reliever in baseball. This comes as no surprise, as he tied the record for second most saves in a season with 57. Luckily for the Mets, he comes to New York cheaply, having just made $571,000 in 2018. He isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2020 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season. He seems to have bought into the the win-now attitude as he stated, “to Mets fans, we came here to win and try to reach the World Series and get that ring.” The second player, Cano, Was a star in NY, playing for the Yankees for 8 years before leaving for Seattle. At age 36, he has five years, $120 million remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with Seattle in December 2013. At that time, the current Mets general manager, Brodie van Wagenen, served as his agent, along with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation. On his move back to New York, Cano gushed, “I’m more than happy — I would say blessed — to be able to wear this uniform ... also happy to be back in New York. I just can’t wait for the season to get started.” Although Cano brings production and experience to this team, there is cloud surrounding him after he served an 80 game suspension last season. He tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic that can be used to mask performance-enhancing drugs. However, he claimed that the substance was given to him by a licensed doctor from the Dominican Republic, which was a convincing enough story for the Mets front office.
The Mariners received outfielder Jay Bruce, reliever Anthony Swarzak and prospects Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista. This move comes after a series of other trades that have dismantled their roster in order to shave payroll and collect talent for the years to come. The Mariners general manager, Jerry Dipoto, asserted, “this trade bolsters our player development system with the additions of Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, while also providing immediate impact to our major league club in Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista.” He continued, “We view Kelenic as a true 5-tool player with a very high ceiling. Dunn is another former first-round draft pick, who we think has a bright future on our pitching staff. Bruce and Swarzak both bring proven production in the field and a veteran presence in our clubhouse. Bautista has demonstrated an impressive high-velocity pitch mix.” It is clear that there is some rationale to the Mariners’ recent decision-making, but fans are probably not going to be happy with the product on the field for the next few years.