Getty Images

Report: Mariners, Mets talking parameters of Robinson Cano deal

22 Comments

As we mentioned yesterday, the Mariners have reached out to the Mets on a potential Robinson Cano trade. The notion of it seems rather far-fetched at first blush, with the Mets historically being unwilling to take on much salary and the Mariners’ desire to trade Cano being driven, primarily, by wanting to shed salary. Yet they’re talking, and today Andy Martino of SNY has some of the parameters of a deal the two teams are discussing.

In short: the Mariners would eat $10 million of the roughly $24 million Cano is owed each year and the Mets would either unload Jay Bruce on the Mariners or, possibly, pick up a good everyday player in the deal. Martino mentions Edwin Diaz or Mitch Haniger, which seems like an awful lot — indeed, the Mariners have been reported to consider them off limits — but that’s what he’s saying. He’s also saying the Mets would play Cano at second base for the time being and move Jeff McNeil to third. I guess Todd Frazier goes and lives on a farm up north? You know, where he can run free outside all day long? I dunno.

If a deal does happen, I can see it being a positive for the Mets even if another player doesn’t come over from Seattle. Cano makes a ton of money now, but at a reasonable salary he’s still a good player to have around. Cano was suspended for 80 games last year but he hit well after coming back from his suspension, going .317/.363/.497 in 40 games in the second half. There’s no reason to think that he doesn’t have at least a couple of good offensive years left.

Guess we’ll wait and watch.

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3

8 Comments

HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”