Robinson Cano is expected to officially become a member of the Mets roster on Monday, with only physical examinations remaining to be completed for the seven players involved in the trade with the Mariners. Cano arrived in New York on Sunday night, and told the New York Post’s Joseph Staszewski that he is looking forward to joining his new team. “For me this season is motivating. It’s blessed always to wear a uniform, be able to play in the big leagues, to play sharp. Mets uniform, there is a lot of pride, a lot of good history and I’m ready to go,” Cano said. The deal could have been held up due to Cano’s no-trade clause, though he decided to waive his protection after speaking with Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen….who, ironically, helped negotiate that same clause into Cano’s contract in his previous role as Cano’s agent.
Here’s more from around the baseball world…
- With the Mariners on the verge of both the Cano deal and another major trade, the James Paxton deal to the Yankees almost seems like old news at this point, though that trade took place just two weeks ago. Yankees GM Brian Cashman revisited his own blockbuster deal speaking to reporters (including George A. King III of the New York Post) and noted that talks about Paxton began after Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto “said he was willing to talk about everybody but three players,” though “one of them he just moved to the Mets.” It’s safe to assume that Cashman is referring to Edwin Diaz, who is on the verge of joining Cano on the Mets. While Dipoto has been open about dealing higher-priced veterans off the Mariners’ roster, he has said that it would take quite a bit more to obtain controllable assets like Diaz, Mitch Haniger, and Marco Gonzales, so one can infer that Haniger and Gonzales may be the other two players that were reportedly off-limits at the time of Dipoto’s talks with Cashman. Of course, since Diaz has now been shipped to Citi Field, it’s fair to wonder if Haniger and Gonzales could find themselves in different uniforms by Opening Day.
- Cashman also said that recent reports about the Yankees’ interest in J.T. Realmuto were “false, completely false,” and that the team didn’t make an offer to the Marlins about the All-Star catcher. According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees were open to the idea of moving Gary Sanchez to Miami for Realmuto in something close to a one-for-one trade, though the Marlins wanted other significant pieces in addition to Sanchez.
- Yokohama BayStars slugger Yoshitomo Tsutsugo has told his club that he would like to make the move from Nippon Professional Baseball to MLB, according to a Japan Times report. The 27-year-old Tsutsugo has a career .287/.381/.531 slash line and 176 homers over 3443 plate appearances for the BayStars, with the bulk of that production coming over the last five seasons, including a 44-homer campaign in 2016 and 38 long balls in 2018. Tsustugo played for Japan’s team in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, and he was selected to participate in the recent MLB Japan All-Star Series, though he didn’t end up suiting for Japan in the exhibition series against a team of Major League notables. It isn’t yet clear if Tsutsugo could hit the North American market sooner rather than later, as he isn’t eligible for free agency until 2021 and would thus need Yokohama to agree to post him. “On the one hand (Tsutsugo) is an important player, but it’s also important to consider his feelings. I would like to think about what is optimal for the team,” BayStars president Shingo Okamura said. Tsutsugo recently renewed his contract for the next NPB season, and is set to earn roughly $3.5MM (or 400 million yen) for his services in 2019.
- “A handful of teams” have checked in with Caleb Joseph since the catcher was non-tendered by the Orioles, MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko reports. Joseph hit just .219/.254/.321 last season and has posted below-average hitting numbers over 1317 career PA in the majors, including an infamous zero-RBI performance over 141 PA in 2016. The 32-year-old now faces a lot of competition in the free agent catching market, as Kubatko notes.