Duane Burleson/Getty Images

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

7 Comments

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.

*

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.

Cardinals extend José Martínez through 2020

Jose Martinez
Getty Images
2 Comments

First baseman/outfielder José Martínez agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Cardinals on Saturday, per a team announcement. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports that Martínez will receive $3.25 million in the deal plus incentives if he earns a more stable place within the starting lineup.

Martínez, 30, played 887 games in the minors before making his major-league debut with the Cardinals at the tail end of the 2016 season. The veteran first baseman has been nothing but productive in the three years since his debut, however, and turned in a career-best performance in 2018 after slashing .305/.364/.457 with 17 home runs, an .821 OPS, and 2.3 fWAR through 590 plate appearances. While he brings some positional flexibility to the table, he’ll be forced to compete against Dexter Fowler and Tyler O'Neill for a full-time gig in right field this year, as Paul Goldschmidt currently has a lock on first base.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the extension wasn’t solely precipitated by Martínez’s productivity in the majors, but by a competing offer from an unnamed Japanese team over the offseason. Goold adds that Martínez would have earned “significantly more than he would in the majors” had the club sold his rights. In the end, they ultimately elected to ink him to a more lucrative deal themselves. He’ll be eligible for arbitration in 2020.