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Robinson Cano trade is done

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After a weekend of waiting, the big trade between the Mets and Mariners is a done deal. That deal: Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz and cash to the Mets; Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn and Gerson Bautista to the Mariners. There will be a press conference tomorrow morning at 11AM.

The amount of money changing hands has not been announced. Cano, of course, is owed $120 million over the next five years, and Seattle will pick up a good chunk of that. Seattle will also take on Bruce and Swarzak’s contracts. Bruce makes $13 million in 2019 and another $13 million in 2020. Swarzak will make $8 million in 2018.

As for the prospects:

  • Kelenic was drafted in the first round, sixth overall, by the Mets in the 2018 draft. In 56 games for the Gulf Coast League Mets and Kingsport Mets, he hit .286/.371/.468 with six home runs and 42 RBI. Baseball America rated him the fourth-best prospect in the Mets organization. Some reports are saying he’s a future star, and that may be, but he’s still only 19 and is a long, long ways away from making any sort of major league impact.
  • Dunn, 23, was the Mets’ first round pick in 2016 and, according to Baseball America, he’s the fifth-best prospect in the organization. Dunn began the year in High-A St. Lucie and went 2-3 with a 2.36 ERA before a promotion to Double-A where he started 15 games, going 6-5 and posting an ERA of 4.22. He struck out more than ten guys per nine at both stops.
  • Bautista actually had a cup of coffee in the bigs this past season, appearing in five games and allowing six runs over four and a third. Originally a product of the Red Sox system, he has a 3.12 ERA over five minor league seasons, primarily as a reliever. He strikes out a lot of guys. He gives up too many hits. Based on his statline, he seems like a project, but all projects are fun on some level.

Both teams did something they wanted to do. The Mets got better, adding a still productive Cano and arguably baseball’s best reliever in 2018 in Diaz. The Mariners re-stocked their farm system with three prospects with upside and shed at least some of Cano’s salary.

As I said on Friday, that’s a lot of moving parts and a lot of moving money and because of that it’s almost folly to say, definitively, who “wins” this deal. For what it’s worth, both Mets fans and Mariners fans think their team got the worse end of it, which probably means it was a pretty fair deal all things considered.

Young Blue Jays say they aren’t intimidated by top seed Rays

Blue Jays roster and schedule
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) When the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays opened the pandemic-delayed season a little over two months ago, there was little to indicate the AL East rivals might meet again to begin the playoffs.

While the Rays launched the truncated 60-game schedule with expectations of making a strong bid for their first division title in a decade, the Blue Jays generally were viewed as an immensely talented young team still years away from postseason contention.

Tampa Bay didn’t disappoint, shrugging off a slow start to go a league-best 40-20 and claim the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs that begin Tuesday.

Lefty Blake Snell, who’ll start Game 1 of the best-of-three wild-card series against Toronto at Tropicana Field, also isn’t surprised that the eighth-seeded Blue Jays earned a spot, too.

The Rays won six of 10 games between the teams during the regular season, but were outscored 48-44 and outhomered 17-11.

And while Toronto (32-28) lacks the playoff experience Tampa Bay gained last season when the Rays beat Oakland in the AL wild-card game before falling to Houston in the divisional round, the Blue Jays are building with exciting young players such as Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“They’ve got a lot of young guys who can ball over there,” Snell said. “It’s going to be fun to compete and see how we do.”

Rays defensive whiz Kevin Kiermaier said Tampa Bay, in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the second time franchise history, will not take the Blue Jays lightly.

“We know we’re playing a real good team,” Kiermaier said. “It’s not going to be easy, regardless of what a team is seeded.”

The Blue Jays, who’ll start right-hander Matt Shoemaker, aren’t conceding anything.

Bichette said he and his teammates respect how good Tampa Bay is, but are not intimidated by facing the No. 1 seed.

“I would say that we didn’t care who we played. I would say that we didn’t mind playing Tampa, that’s for sure. We’re familiar with them. We’ve played them well,” Bichette said.

“I think we’re confident in our ability against them. Our talent matches up well,” Bichette added. “We think if we play well we’ve got a good chance.”

NO FANS

The stands at Tropicana Field will be empty, leaving players to wonder what the atmosphere will be like for the playoffs.

Tampa Bay routinely rank at or near the bottom of the majors in attendance, but usually pack the stands in the domed stadium during the postseason.

“It will be different,” Bichette said. “Normally when you think of your first postseason you think 40,000, you think about not being able to think it’s so loud, stuff like that.”

The Blue Jays open the playoffs near where they hold spring training in Dunedin, Florida. It’s been a winding road for Toronto, which played its home games in Buffalo, New York, at the site of its Triple-A affiliate after the Canadian government barred the Blue Jays from hosting games at their own stadium because of coronavirus concerns.

CONFIDENT RAYS

Tampa Bay’s five-game loss to Houston in last year’s divisional round was a source of motivation during the regular season.

“It definitely lit a fire under everybody. It really showed us we belong. … We gave them a tough series,” second baseman Brandon Lowe said.

“We won the wild-card game. We belong in the postseason. I think that did a lot for us to understand that we should be in the postseason and we can go a lot farther. We know what to expect this time around. I think everyone in our clubhouse expects to be playing until the end of October,” he said.

CLOSE FRIENDS

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash has the Rays in the playoffs for the second time. His close friend and former Rays third base and bench coach Charlie Montoyo is in his second year as manager of the Blue Jays, who last made the playoffs in 2016.

“Pretty special,” Cash said of his relationship with Montoyo.

“I really learned a lot from him being around him. The way he carried himself. His hand print is throughout this organization,” Cash added. “A pretty big impact and a positive one. … When they clinched I talked to him, we face-timed at 1:30 in the morning. I’m so happy for him.”