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Report: Mets, Mariners close on trade involving Robinson Canó, Edwin Díaz

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Update: Per Mike Puma of the New York Post, the Mets have begun informing players they’re involved in the trade if it gets to the finish line. Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak would be in the deal. As would, presumably, two or three prospects.

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Earlier, Craig wrote about the “significant momentum” building between the Mets and Mariners for a trade involving second baseman Robinson Canó and closer Edwin Díaz. That deal is now “close,” according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic and could be announced on Friday.

Canó, 36, is under contract for the next five years at $24 million each year for a total of $120 million, and he has full no-trade protection which he would need to waive to facilitate a trade with the Mets. The Mariners will likely have to cover a significant portion of Canó’s remaining salary as well as take on a heavy contract or two, such as outfielder Jay Bruce (two years and $26 million remaining). Some of the Mets’ top prospects that have been floated as having piqued the Mariners’ interest include outfielder Jarred Kelenic and pitcher Justin Dunn. Infielder Jeff McNeil, who finished sixth in NL Rookie of the Year voting this past season, has also been mentioned.

Canó hit .303/.374/.471 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 348 plate appearances in 2018. He missed time between May 14 and August 13 serving an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

Díaz, 24, was arguably baseball’s best closer, leading with 57 saves. He also posted a 1.96 ERA with 124 strikeouts and 17 walks in 73 1/3 innings.

Both Canó and Díaz would represent huge upgrades for the Mets, who have a new GM in Brodie Van Wagenen. Notably, Van Wagenen was Canó’s agent before taking the job with the Mets.

Meanwhile, the Mariners seem eager to head into a rebuilding mode despite finishing 89-73. They finished 14 games out of first place and eight games out of second place in the AL West. The club already traded top-tier starter James Paxton to the Yankees and Mike Zunino to the Rays. Once Canó and Díaz have new homes, shortstop Jean Segura and outfielder Mitch Haniger could be next to go.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.