Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that there is “significant momentum” toward a deal that would send Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Mariners to the Mets. Other reporters are saying there is no deal in place yet and that it’s not to the point where anyone has asked Cano to waive his no-trade clause, but everyone agrees the sides are working on a deal.
The specifics of that deal seem like they’ll have to be fairly creative and, at the very least, would have to involve the Mets eating a ton if not all of Cano’s salary. Because dumping him for salary relief is one thing, adding one of the best closers in all of baseball to the deal is quite another. What will the Mariners get for that and why would they not get far more for Diaz if they tried to trade him on his own? For that matter, why do they want to trade Diaz anyway? He’s only 24 and isn’t even arbitration-eligible yet.
Worth watching anyway. There’s an increasing amount of smoke coming over the horizon.
The Cincinnati Reds have signed outfielder Nicholas Castellanos to a four-year deal worth $64 million. The contract includes opt-outs after both 2020 and 2021, which is certainly good for Castellanos, allowing him to go back out on the market if he has a big year. Odd that the Reds would agree to that, but on an annual basis it’s kind of a bargain for them so you figure that has something to do with it.
With Castellanos in the fold the Reds are going to have a lot of outfielders when they hit Goodyear, Arizona in a couple of weeks, with newcomer Shogo Akiyama, Jesse Winkler, Nick Senzel, Aristides Aquino, Travis Jankowski, Scott Schebler, and Rule 5 draftee Mark Payton already on the roster. Senzel was an infielder before last year, of course, so he could move back to the dirt, perhaps taking over short from Freddy Galvis, who could be dealt. Alternatively, the Reds could trade from their newfound outfield surplus.
Castellanos, however, will have left field to himself. While he’s shaky at best with the glove, he had a breakout year at the plate in 2019, hitting .289/.337/.525 overall (OPS+ 121), but slugging at a blistering .321/.356/.646 pace (OPS+ 151) after being traded from the Tigers to the Cubs. In Chicago — rescued from cavernous Comerica Park — his big doubles power turned into big homer power.
Now that he’ll be playing in hitter-friendly Great American Ballpark one can only imagine the damage he’d do.