Rob Leiter/Getty Images
Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano is reportedly on the move.
According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Mariners agreed Saturday to ship Cano, pitcher Edwin Diaz and $20 million in cash to the New York Mets in exchange for outfielder Jay Bruce, pitcher Anthony Swarzak, outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic and pitching prospects Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista.
MLB Network’s Jon Morosi confirmed Cano agreed to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate the move, which is expected to be finalized Monday.
MLB.com lists Kelenic and Dunn as the Mets’ No. 3 and 4 prospects, respectively.
A lifetime .304 hitter, Cano is an eight-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger and two-time Gold Glove winner.
Cano played nine seasons with the New York Yankees and was the starting second baseman for the 2009 World Series-winning team. He also finished top-six in the AL MVP voting from 2010-2013.
After nine seasons in the Bronx, Cano signed a 10-year, $240 million deal with the M’s before the 2014 campaign. His batting numbers have since taken a slight dip (.826 OPS in five Seattle seasons compared to .860 OPS in nine Yankee years), although he experienced a significant park shift going from the hitter’s paradise of Yankee Stadium to the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.
He’ll be entering his age-36 season in 2019, but the 14-year veteran still hit 10 home runs and knocked in 50 runners in addition to an .845 OPS in 80 games last season.
Cano only played half the year because he was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for furosemide. Per Victor Mather and Billy Witz of the New York Times, that is “a diuretic sometimes used to hide the presence of other banned substances.” He denied knowingly taking a banned substance.
Cano finished serving that suspension in August 2018 and is eligible to play this upcoming season.
He will assuredly be the Mets’ everyday starter at second base.
Rookie Jeff McNeil took hold of that position last year and did well thanks to a .329 batting average and .852 OPS. New York needs to find a home for him somewhere in the lineup. He played at third base a bit during his minor league career, so perhaps he could see some time there.
However, the Mets are risking a longer-term problem.
Cano has five years left on a deal that goes until he’s 40 years old. His game is aging gracefully right now, but at some point, time will catch up to him. If that happens before the end of his deal, then that could be a problem for the National League team. Aging NL players can’t become designated hitters to avoid the field and rest more as they wind down their careers, so the Mets may be in a tough spot down the line.