Robinson Canó and Edwin Díaz appear close to being traded to the Mets
Well, it’s really happening. This all developed relatively quickly, at least in the public eye, and really caught me off guard. I really didn’t think Robinson Canó was going to be traded, to be honest. Nothing is official just yet, but at some point today (Friday) it is expected to be. According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, things are close to being completed and they should be wrapped up on Friday. The exact details of the trade were changing quickly Thursday night so we don’t know just yet what the final package was, but it will include all of most of the following group: Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Jeff McNeil, Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista. The last version I saw had McNeil removed from that group, though again the exact parameters keep changing.
So, a few things on this. For one thing, I’m very confused! I’m confused that the Mets are actually taking on payroll, though some of that is offset with the inclusion of Bruce and Swarzak. That’s not me saying it’s a bad thing, just an unusual one. I like the deal for the Mets, though it is worth noting Kelenic is one of the more exciting young outfield prospects in the game, so that one is tough to swallow. Still, Díaz is a legitimate stud at the back of the bullpen and not the type of arm you point to and say “relievers are fungible.” That’s true of mid-tier guys, but generally speaking the elite arms stay elite. There’s little reason to believe Díaz is going to fall off a cliff at any point soon, and simply saying he will because he’s a reliever is frankly just avoiding real analysis. Canó, meanwhile, is probably not going to look great by the end of his contract and his defense is somewhat of a question mark, but he can still hit extremely well right now. Overall, I like this deal for the Mets, but if they go and trade Noah Syndergaard now I just have no idea what their plan is.
On the other side of things, I also have no idea what the Mariners are doing! I understand their plan to go full rebuild, but I don’t really understand why. They really weren’t that far off, and it just baffles me how quickly teams are willing to blow it all up now. Even if we accept that rebuilding is the right move, and that trading Díaz is the right move (I do not believe it was), attaching him to the Canó contract is very strange to me. Granted, they seem to be getting a solid package anyway, but if you’re going to start building up for the future the goal should be maximizing all of your best trade packages. I’ve seen some comparisons to when Craig Kimbrel was traded from Atlanta to San Diego with Melvin Upton, but Canó isn’t Upton. Not right now. All that said, people who know more about prospects than me seem to like this deal for Seattle too, though I think they liked it more when Jeff McNeil was in it. Either way, the American League just got weaker, which is good news for the Red Sox.
Garrett Richards signs two-year deal with the Padres
Earlier in the offseason, I argued for the Red Sox to make a slightly unorthodox signing to bring in Garrett Richards, a pitcher who is going to miss all of the 2019 season. Well folks, they didn’t listen to me. Again! Richards signed a contract on Friday, agreeing to a two-year deal with the Padres worth $15 million total. To be fair, this deal is worth a bit more than I expected, though I still think there’s a decent chance this is a steal for San Diego. It also seems, just by looking at the teams to whom he was connected, that Richards really wanted to stay on the West Coast. The Red Sox have plenty of time to fill 2020 rotation holes, but as someone who loves watching Richards pitch, I’m a little bummed out they couldn’t make it work.