It sure has been a wild day for #MetsTwitter. The New York Mets have generated buzz on social media all day due to reports about trade talks with the Seattle Mariners that could send a pair of All Stars back to New York. Second baseman Robinson Cano (and a significant portion of the $120 million left on his contract) and closer Edwin Diaz are the subject of the rumors, although the return from the Mets isn’t clear yet. Let’s catch up on some of the latest buzz from MLB insiders on Twitter.
In essence, the Mets and Mariners are discussing a deal that will involve Cano and Diaz coming to New York in exchange for a bad deal or two (Jay Bruce/Anthony Swarzak), a top prospect, and another prospect (or Jeff McNeil). The prospects being discussed with the most fervor appear to be the Mets’ three most recent first rounders: outfielder Jarred Kelenic and starting pitchers David Peterson and Justin Dunn. Even though a lot of proposals made by pundits included the Mets’ top prospect, shortstop Andres Gimenez, Seattle does not appear to be interested in acquiring him.
This deal is intriguing for the Mets, who can add an All Star second basemen who is still a strong defender and a 25 year old closer with four years of team control to their roster. The issue concerns what kinds of prospects the Mets send back to Seattle in this deal. Dunn and Peterson are solid prospects, but parting with one of them to land an elite young closer is understandable. The worst case scenario for the Mets would be parting with Kelenic, who flashed a ton of promise in his first season of pro ball, advancing out of rookie ball within two weeks and finishing the season at Kingsport. Kelenic is a guy with superstar potential, and parting with someone like that in a salary dump trade is an unacceptable idea for the Mets.
Even McNeil may seem a bit excessive, but if it comes down to it the Mets should be more willing to move McNeil than Kelenic. McNeil did a stellar job in his first two months of big league action in 2018, but he is still a 26 year old late bloomer with a checkered injury history. While it would be nice to keep McNeil around and see what he turns into, he should not be the deal breaker in terms of adding Cano and Diaz to the roster. Kelenic should absolutely be the deal breaker, because even if the Mets don’t end up bringing him all the way to the bigs Kelenic could be a big trade chip to add a superstar via trade later on. Burning that chip in a deal where the Mariners are desperate to offload Cano’s salary could be a franchise altering mistake.