Buster Olney expects the Mets to be better after acquiring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz but doesn’t know if it was worth the high price. (1:26)
The Seattle Mariners officially completed the blockbuster trade sending former All-Star Robinson Cano and All-Star closer Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets for outfielder Jay Bruce, reliever Anthony Swarzak, right-hander Gerson Bautista and prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn.
“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,” Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto said in a statement on Monday. “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.”
The Mariners are also sending cash to the Mets to offset the money remaining on Cano’s contract, but they did not announce how much.
Cano thanked Seattle fans in a tweet Monday.
I want to thank the Seattle Mariners organization, the city of Seattle, & the fans who are some of the best in our game. 5 years ago, you welcomed me to your city and embraced me from day one. Playing for you was a privilege, & I’m grateful for your support throughout the years. pic.twitter.com/6PduRRv0aG
— Robinson Cano (@RobinsonCano) December 3, 2018
Cano, 36, has five years, $120 million remaining on the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with Seattle in December 2013, when current Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen served as his agent, along with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
Cano was suspended for 80 games last season for violating baseball’s joint drug policy. He hit .303 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in 80 games.
An eight-time All-Star at second base who starred for the New York Yankees from 2005 to 2013, Cano reportedly was happy to return to New York and waived his no-trade clause for the deal to be completed.
Diaz, 24, is the prize in the deal. Armed with a 100-mph fastball, he had a 1.96 ERA and led the majors with 57 saves last season — tied with Bobby Thigpen (1990) for the second-most in a single season in baseball history, trailing only Francisco Rodriguez‘s 62 in 2008.
Diaz also comes to New York cheaply.
He made just $571,000 in 2018, isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2020 and won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2022 season.
Seattle, which finished 89-73 this past season, has since decided to go into rebuilding mode. The Mariners have already traded ace James Paxton to the New York Yankees, catcher Mike Zunino to the Tampa Bay Rays and reliever Alex Colome to the Chicago White Sox, and Monday they sent All-Star infielder Jean Segura to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Dunn, a right-handed pitcher, was a first-rounder in 2016, and outfielder Kelenic was the sixth overall pick in 2018. Both players tweeted after they were informed of the trade.
— Justin Dunn (@Dunn_Deal19) December 3, 2018
— Jarred Kelenic (@JKelenic_1019) December 3, 2018
Dunn, 22, was the Mets’ top pitching prospect. He started 24 games last season between Single-A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton, and went 8-8 with a 3.59 ERA and 1.33 WHIP. A former ace at Boston College, Dunn struck out 156 batters in 135 1/3 innings.
Kelenic, 19, hit .286 at rookie league Kingsport and St. Lucie.