The Mets made a controversial splash into the Hot-Stove this week as they acquired Cano and Diaz from the Mariners for Kelenic/Dunn/Bautista/Bruce/Swarzak. The Mariners also sent over 20 million, considerably less than originally thought but still a solid chunk of money.
The Negative View of the Trade:
The Mets are diving in to a win-now mode with this trade. Kelenic is one of the better hitters the Mets have drafted in a while so they are saying goodbye to a solid position player down the road. Dunn finally turned a corner last year and Bautista’s arm is incredibly lively. This is a high price to pay for an aging second-basemen coming off a PED suspension and one of the best closers in the game who does have bone-spur in his elbow that has been known about since he signed a contract. This is an incredible amount of risk. The GM of the Mariners is apparently euphoric about the trade which is also concerning. The trade also wipes the Mets farm system clean of move-able prospects outside Gimenez and Alonso (the latter who is not going anywhere).
The Positive View of the Trade:
The Mets are clearly going into a win now mode as long as they follow up this trade with smart free agent signings. Cano has been better than most aging stars. Passan has already reported that he sees Cano and Diaz both as 10 WAR players. Cano makes the lineup better for at least the next two years also allows the Mets to get creative with McNeil (although it would be better to keep him). Moving Bruce and Swarzak also gives the Mets some financial freedom. The Mets need to take it and reinvest the money back in the club. Since Swarzak and Bautista were moved on this trade, the Mets would be smart to sign 1-2 of Britton/Ottavino/Robertson.
There have been cases in the last decade or two where the Mets have traded prospects and it turned out alright. For example in the Johan Santana trade, Carlos Gomez became the only bona fide star. In the Carlos Delgado trade only Petit became a regular, long term baseball player.
I’m going to take the easy way out and just wait a bit. It was hard to predict a month ago that the Mets would go after Cano, so who knows where the Mets go to next.