Dec. 3: The trade is official, tweets Passan. The two sides will make an announcement today, it seems.
Dec. 1, 8:49pm: Cano has indeed waived his no-trade clause, per Morosi. It’ll be Cano, Diaz and $20MM for Bruce, Swarzak, Kelenic, Dunn and Bautista, Heyman tweets. The trade will save the Mariners approximately $64MM, Johns notes on Twitter. It should become official “late Monday,” Sherman reports.
8:10pm: A deal is in place, pending physicals, Tenchy Rodriguez of ESPN Deportes Radio reports (Twitter link via Jon Morosi of MLB.com). The trade could be announced as early as Monday, Martino tweets.
3:38pm: The aforementioned “work” to be done on the deal, per Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, is tri-fold: The commissioner’s office must approve the amount of money exchanging hands in the deal, each player must pass his physical, and Robinson Cano must give official approval to waive his no-trade clause. Per Rosenthal, the trade should be announced “early next week.”
Nov. 30, 6:24pm: The Mariners are only expected to chip in something in the mid-$20MM range to cover Cano’s salary, per Passan (via Twitter). Seattle will still be absorbing the two significant contracts, of course, but it seems the New York org will be paying for about half of Cano’s contract (while also presumptively paying Diaz in arbitration).
Meanwhile, there’s still work to be done on the deal, which Joel Sherman of the New York Post tweets will not be concluded this evening.
8:15am: The Mets and Mariners aren’t expected to formally announce anything today, Heyman tweets. That said, Newsday’s David Lennon suggests that the parameters of the deal are largely believed to be in place, so the lack of a Friday announcement doesn’t indicate that there’s any kind of snag in the deal.
Nov. 29, 11:56pm: Bautista would indeed be the fifth piece going to Seattle in the deal, as currently constructed, Sherman tweets.
11:30pm: McNeil will not be included in the trade if it is ultimately completed, per Sherman. Instead, he tweets that the Mets will send Kelenic, Dunn, Bruce, Swarzak and another reliever to the Mariners. Notably, Sherman reports that medical info has still yet to be reviewed, and Cano has yet to waive his no-trade clause (though there’s no expectation that he’ll veto a trade that would send him back to New York City).
10:15pm: It seems that the two sides haven’t quite finalized the group of players who’d head to Seattle in the deal. Martino tweets that the Mets are still “hesitant” to include McNeil and are currently proposing right-hander Gerson Bautista in addition to Kelenic, Dunn, Bruce and Swarzak.
Obviously, that’d be a fairly substantial change to the deal’s perception; Bautista is a flamethrowing young righty with upside, but he’s yet to find success in the Majors or even the upper minors. McNeil, meanwhile, looked like a potential big league regular in his rookie season with the Mets this past season.
Puma had previously tweeted that McNeil wasn’t in the trade as of yesterday, though there’s “some thought that may have changed today,” so it seems as if the organization could be on the fence about whether to ultimately include the promising 26-year-old.
8:40pm: The trade is “expected to be completed by Friday,” tweets Passan. He further clarifies that it’s not yet clear how much money the Mariners would send to the Mets to help offset Cano’s remaining contract. Sending Bruce and Swarzak to Seattle would effectively leave the Mets on the hook for $86MM of Cano’s salary, and it seems fair to expect that Seattle would add some additional cash to help further offset the financial commitment to Cano.
Mike Puma of the New York Post tweets that things have advanced to the point where the Mets have begun to formally alert players to the fact that they’re in a deal that is on the verge of completion (albeit not yet 100 percent complete).
8:08pm: The offer on the table, at present, would see McNeil, Kelenic, Dunn, Bruce and Swarzak all head to Seattle in exchange for Cano and Diaz, tweets Martino. He cautions that the two sides have not yet reviewed medical information on the players involved, which always has the potential to throw a wrench into trade negotiations. Heyman tweets that a combination of those names is on the table.
7:11pm: A trade involving Diaz and Cano is close to being agreed upon, tweets Rosenthal.
6:33pm: Sherman tweets that the talks between the two sides are indeed intensifying, adding that the Mariners are now focused on the Mets rather than any other potential trade partners. Both Bruce and Swarzak could be included as a means of helping to offset Cano’s salary, and there are plenty of details to be sorted out, including medical reports and Cano’s no-trade clause.
5:40pm: Talks between the Mariners and Mets are reaching a “critical stage,” tweets Rosenthal. He notes that New York’s offer to Seattle includes some combination (but not all) of Kelenic, Dunn, McNeil, Bruce and Swarzak. That latter pair of names would seemingly be more about offsetting salary than anything else, while the first three are all well-regarded young players who’d provide the Mariners organization with a substantial amount of long-term value.
Meanwhile, MLB.com’s Greg Johns tweets that talks are indeed accelerating. A deal seems quite likely, per Johns, though the specific names involved are still being sorted out.
5:15pm: The Mariners are talking to multiple clubs about Cano, Diaz and shortstop Jean Segura, Rosenthal tweets. Those negotiations include myriad scenarios, including combinations of those three players as well as standalone deals for each. Similarly, Sherman adds that the Mets are operating with the belief that they’re one of many clubs in talks with the Mariners as they explore trades for combinations of those three as well as standalone swaps.
1:24pm: The teams have discussed scenarios involving both Cano and Diaz individually, as well as package arrangements, per Martino (via Twitter).
10:13am: “Significant momentum” has built toward a deal that would send high-dollar veteran second baseman Robinson Cano and top-shelf young closer Edwin Diaz from the Mariners to the Mets, according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (Twitter links). Cano has reportedly not yet been asked to waive his no-trade rights, though Passan adds that is not expected to represent a significant hurdle.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post characterizes things somewhat differently in his own series of tweets. His sources indicate that the “Mets do not currently feel like they are close to a deal,” though he also makes clear that the interest is serious. Notably, Sherman suggests that the New York organization still doesn’t have a firm sense of whether the M’s are committed to packaging Cano and Diaz at all. Indeed, indications are that the Seattle org is still engaged with other clubs.
Obviously, the full parameters of this potential swap have yet to be revealed in full. And it’s hardly a done deal. But some chatter about other pieces has emerged as well. Recent first-round draft picks Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn are “under discussion” along with other pre-MLB assets, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). Youngster David Peterson is also in the conversation, Jon Heyman of Fancred tweets. It’s important to emphasize that there is no specific indication that any or all of these young players is involved in a specific, fully built out scenario that the two organizations are deciding upon. Rather, per Heyman, the sides are tossing around different deal structures, with the Mariners demanding prospect value if they’re to part with Diaz.
Particulars aside, it’s rather stunning to see that the concept — a deal packaging Cano’s $120MM in remaining salary with Diaz — has advanced to this stage. There are certainly shades of the 2015 Melvin Upton/Craig Kimbrel swap here, so there is a clear model to follow, but this new proposal involves somewhat more extreme contract rights. (Upton was owed nearly $75MM less at the time of that swap than Cano is now, for instance.)
Cano is already 36 years of age, and sat out half the 2018 campaign due to a suspension for use of a masking agent, so the five years left on his deal are hardly an appealing proposition. But he’s also still a high-quality major-leaguer. Diaz, meanwhile, is unquestionably the top relief asset that could be had on this winter’s market. Though the aforementioned Kimbrel is an immensely accomplished closer who’s presently available in free agency, Diaz handily outperformed him last year. More importantly, he has the clear edge in youth and cost.
Unquestionably, quite a bit more will be involved in any actual trade than the two players rumored to this point. The Mariners will in all likelihood hold on to some of Cano’s contract and/or absorb a Mets contract in return. And the New York club will surely send back some talent. Those details will determine the ultimate merits of the swap for each club.
We’ll have to wait to learn the details, if anything is actually concluded. But it seems clear even from these reports of intense interest that the Mets are not only chasing the elite young closer, but see an opportunity to capture a some value from Cano, whose contract new GM Brodie Van Wagenen negotiated in his prior life as an agent. The long-time star is clearly not in his prime, but he still hit quite a bit when he wasn’t on the restricted list last year. Presumably, he’d step in at his accustomed second base, a position he can still handle (albeit not at his once-elite levels).
Adding Cano at second would dislodge Jeff McNeil, who emerged last year with an outstanding debut showing. The Mets would still have other options to shift around their infield pieces. It could also be that McNeil would move in the trade. He has appeared in the conversation between the organizations, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo tweets. McNeil already 26 years of age and only just debuted in the majors in 2018, but was one of the most pleasant surprises league-wide in the just-completed campaign. He not only showed off his typically excellent plate discipline, but turned in a notable power surge (as against his prior minor-league track record) and then slashed a hefty .329/.381/.471 in 248 big league plate appearances.
The full potential ramifications, clearly, would depend upon as-yet-unknown specifics. That’s due in no small part to the still-unknown slate of prospects that could be involved and, even more importantly from a MLB roster perspective, the contracts that could head the other way. We’ve heard Jay Bruce’s name thrown around quite a bit as a potential big contract to go to Seattle. Perhaps Juan Lagares would hold more appeal to the M’s, as a defensive stalwart who seems to fit the mold of player that Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto often targets, though he’s not owed as much. Todd Frazier, Jason Vargas, and Anthony Swarzak are among the other costly veteran pieces who could in theory be utilized to facilitate a swap.
For now, then, it doesn’t seem we know all that much more about the realistic possibilities than we have for the past week or so, as Cano/Diaz rumors have permeated the hot stove landscape. Even the level of seriousness of the Mets has been suggested, with SNY.tv’s Andy Martino calling the club an “aggressive” pursuer. Previously, though, it has hardly been evident that there was a realistic path to a trade that would lead to a match. The importance of these most recent developments is that, as Passan puts it, “there is an increasing expectation a trade will get finished.”