After days of rumblings and speculation, talks between the Mariners and Mets reached a crescendo Thursday on a blockbuster trade that would bring Robinson Cano and stud closer Edwin Diaz to Citi Field, allowing new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to potentially strengthen his lineup and bullpen in one swoop.
According to sources, the framework of a deal has been reached and a trade between the two teams could become official as soon as Friday. The Mets are prepared to send Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak to the Mariners with former first-round draft picks Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn and likely Gerson Bautista. Van Wagenen on Thursday began informing Mets players included in the deal to prepare for a possible trade.
The Mariners had been speaking to several other teams (the Phillies, Braves and Red Sox among them) about variations of trades that include Cano and Diaz separately and as a package, but shifted course late Thursday and began focusing on the Mets.
The 36-year-old Cano is still owed $120 million over the next five years, and it’s unclear how much of that will be assumed by the Mariners. The bigger prize from the Mets’ perspective is Diaz, an electric 24-year-old reliever who recorded 57 saves with a 1.96 ERA last season. Diaz won’t be eligible for free agency for another four years, only bolstering his value.
Modal TriggerJay Bruce
Jay BrucePaul J. Bereswill
Bruce is owed $29 million over the next two seasons, and the Mariners were recently removed from the list of teams to which he cannot be traded without his consent (he can reset the list each offseason in his contract). Swarzak is owed $8 million for next season.
Jeff McNeil was previously penciled in as the Mets’ starting second baseman for next season. But Cano, despite declining range, is still viewed primarily as a second baseman after moving to the corners late last season, upon returning from an 80-game PED suspension. Cano finished with a .303/.374/.471 slash line with 10 homers and 50 RBIs in 80 games last season. McNeil would likely turn into a utiltityman, shuffling between second and third base, with Cano’s arrival.
Van Wagenen, a former agent, has a history with Cano, having negotiated the player’s 10-year contract worth $240 million as part of a joint venture between CAA and Roc Nation.