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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.

Astros hitting coach receives 20-game suspension; A’s Laureano six

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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OAKLAND, Calif. — Houston Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron received a 20-game suspension and a fine Tuesday for his role in a benches-clearing brawl at Oakland, while Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was given a six-game suspension and a fine.

Cintron’s suspension is the longest for an on-field transgression in 15 years, since Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers received 20 games for his altercation with two cameramen in 2005.

“I accept MLB’s suspension and will learn from this,” Cintron said in a statement. “Although I never referenced Ramon’s mother, my actions were inappropriate. I apologize for my part in Sunday’s unfortunate incident. As coaches, we are held to a higher standard and should be an example to the players. Hopefully, other coaches will learn from my mistake so that this never happens again in the future.”

Laureano appealed, so his discipline didn’t begin Tuesday night in Oakland’s game against the Angels. He was in the lineup batting second and playing center field at Angel Stadium.

Laureano was hit by a pitch from Humberto Castellanos with one out in the seventh inning of Oakland’s 7-2 victory Sunday. He began exchanging words with a gesturing Cintron then left first base, threw down his batting helmet and began sprinting toward the 41-year-old Cintron.

Astros catcher Dustin Garneau tackled Laureano before the A’s outfielder got to the hitting coach. Laureano is a former Astros player and the rival clubs have been the top two in the AL West the past two years. A’s pitcher Mike Fiers, another former Houston player, revealed the Astros’ sign-stealing scandal in November to The Athletic.

Laureano was hit for the third time in the weekend series swept by Oakland – the fifth time the A’s were hit in all while the Astros didn’t get plunked once – and he pointed at Castellanos.

Players rushed out of both dugouts. Laureano was ejected by plate umpire Ted Barrett, and the umpiring crew could easily be heard yelling at the players to “get back to the dugout!” through a ballpark with no fans.

“I just thought that, whew, boy they threw the book at us big time. But what can you do?” said Astros manager Dusty Baker, who had already been ejected by the time the brawl occurred and didn’t see it on TV. “The ruling is the ruling. I talked to the powers that be in the commissioner’s office this afternoon and we had a good conversation. So … we have to deal with it and hopefully this brings our guys even closer together. He was a big part of our team.”

The A’s lost the AL wild-card game each of the past two seasons after winning 97 games both years to place second in the AL West behind three-time reigning division champion Houston, which won a World Series in 2017 and an AL pennant last season.

Laureano began Tuesday batting .259 with three homers and 10 RBIs as the A’s regular center fielder and No. 2 hitter.

“It’s just something we have to deal with,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said of the suspension. “I don’t make those decisions, and whatever I think about them doesn’t really matter anyway, so I think the best thing to do is try to get it behind us as quickly as we can.”

Melvin wasn’t sure how he would potentially structure his outfield and lineup without Laureano for several games.

“You can’t replace him,” Melvin said. “You just have to play short.”

The Dodgers and Astros had their own dustup when Los Angeles visited Houston last month. LA lost the ’17 World Series to the Astros when the sign-stealing scam was happening.

In announcing the punishments, MLB said Cintron’s discipline was “for his role in inciting and escalating the conflict between the two clubs.” Given the coronavirus pandemic, baseball has established strict guidelines about avoiding brawls.

“The explanation was that he’s a coach and especially with the COVID situation out here … in essence they’re not going to stand for it,” Baker said. “Basically, somebody had to be the example. Especially in these times that we’re going through.”

A former infielder from Puerto Rico, Cintron played parts of nine major league seasons with Arizona, the Chicago White Sox, Baltimore and Washington. He won’t be eligible to coach again until Sept. 2, when the Astros are scheduled to host Texas.

“Cintron said what he did was wrong, and he apologized for it,” Baker said. “It still doesn’t take the fact away that it happened.”