The trade that will bring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to Queens is all but done. Jeff Passan, among others, reported that – pending physicals – the Mets will send former first round picks Jarred Kelenic, and Justin Dunn, along with Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista to the Mariners, with Cano and Diaz – as well as $20 million -- coming to the Mets. The trade should be officially reported on Monday, though that appears to be only a formality.
Cano has a lengthy MLB track record, and is still a very productive hitter. Last season, he hit .303/.374/.471, good for a 136 wRC+, along with a 2.9 fWAR in just 80 games – though he missed that time due to a failed PED test. While Cano’s age (36) and big contract (he is owed $24 million a year over the next five years) can be disconcerting, he is productive and is expected to be a boon to the offense in the short term.
Diaz was electric last season, striking out a whopping 44.3% of batters he faced out of the bullpen, compared to a solid 6.1% walk rate. He also notched 57 saves, in what was a nice bounce back season after a up and down 2017 Diaz is under team control for the next four years – he hits arbitration for the first time in 2020, though, so he will get a big raise next offseason.
Both Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak had rough tenures in Queens, for the most part. Bruce, acquired at the 2016 trade deadline for newly reacquired Dilson Herrera and Max Wotell, struggled, hitting .219/.294/.391 (83 wRC+) with a -0.2 fWAR in 50 games that season. He fared better in the first half of 2017, as he hit 256/.321/.520 (122 wRC+) before getting dealt to Cleveland for Ryder Ryan at the trade deadline. The Mets brought Bruce with a three year, $39 million deal following the 2017 season, but a myriad of injuries kept him to a .223/.310/.370 slash line (89 wRC+).
Swarzak parlayed a stellar 2017 season into a two year, $14 million deal with the Mets last offseason, but he struggled with injuries and poor play. He finished with a 6.15 ERA in just 29 games, as an early season oblique injury derailed his season quickly. Both Swarzak and Bruce effectively serve as salary relief in this deal.
Jarred Kelenic was taken with the sixth pick of the first round of the 2018 draft, and got off to a solid start, hitting .413/.451/.609 (192 wRC+) for the Gulf Coast Mets before being promoted to the Appalachian League, hitting .253/.350/.431 (107 wRC+) for the Kingsport Mets. The 19 year old is easily the biggest prize for the Mariners in the trade.
Justin Dunn, the 19th overall pick in the 2016 draft, has had a rather up and down professional career thus far. He had eleven appearances (eight starts) for the Brooklyn Cyclones, where he earned a solid 1.50 ERA and posted a solid 27.8% strikeout rate, paired with a 7.9 walk rate. A 2017 promotion to St. Lucie saw him struggle to a 5.00 ERA in 20 games (16 starts). He returned to St. Lucie to start the 2018 season, where he posted a stellar 2.36 ERA in nine starts before getting called up to Binghamton, where he was rather pedestrian, posting a 4.22 ERA in 15 starts.
Gerson Bautista, acquired by the Mets from the Red Sox for Addison Reed in 2017, has seen a cup of coffee in the big leagues, and it did not go all too well, as he posted a 12.64 ERA in five appearances out of the bullpen last year. He spent the vast majority of 2018 with the Las Vegas 51s, where he struggled to a 5.22 ERA.