Just over four years ago, Robinson Cano belted a three-RBI home run off of Rangers right-hander Tanner Scheppers. The Mariners eventually lost the game by a score of 8-6, but the moment held some significance for their second baseman: It was his first home run since he inked a massive 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle that winter.
On Sunday, Cano collected his 100th home run for the club: a two-run, 398-footer off of Josh Tomlin in the second inning of the Mariners’ series finale against the Indians. The blast capped a five-run inning, giving the Mariners an early advantage that they subsequently tried to return to the Indians in the bottom of the frame.
With 304 career homers, Cano sits 10th on the active list behind Albert Pujols (619 home runs), Miguel Cabrera (465), Adrian Beltre (463), Edwin Encarnacion (354), Jose Bautista (331), fellow Mariner Nelson Cruz (328), Curtis Granderson (322), Adrian Gonzalez (313) and Ryan Braun (307). He wasn’t the only one to go deep against the Indians on Sunday, either: Ryon Healy launched two home runs off of Tomlin and Nick Goody, while Mitch Haniger saved a solo shot for the ninth inning against Zach McAllister. The Mariners won, 10-4.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians and Padres are still discussing a potential trade for a starting pitcher, namely Corey Kluber or Trevor Bauer. Rosenthal adds that a deal isn’t close and is unlikely to occur before Opening Day. The Padres are balking at the Indians’ asking prices for the two starters.
The Padres could certainly use an ace at the top of the rotation. With the addition of Manny Machado, the lineup is looking decent, but beyond Joey Lucchesi, the starting pitching doesn’t inspire confidence.
Kluber, who turns 33 years old next month, has club options for the next two seasons at $13.5 million and $14 million with $1 million buyouts each. Last year, the right-hander finished third in AL Cy Young balloting, finishing 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA and a 222/34 K/BB ratio in 215 innings.
Bauer, 28, is earning $13 million this season and will enter his fourth and final year of arbitration heading into 2020. Last year, Bauer went 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA and a 221/57 K/BB ratio across 175 1/3 innings.
The Indians are the prohibitive favorites in the AL Central once again, but that has as much to do with the mediocrity of the rest of the division as the Indians’ commitment to competing. If the Indians were to trade either or both starters, that would be good news for the Twins, who are projected to be 15 games worse than the Indians but still finish in second place, according to PECOTA from Baseball Prospectus.