The New York Mets formally introduced Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz at a 17-minute long press conference held at Citi Field earlier this morning. The event was the culmination of a week-long cycle that began when reports surfaced that the club planned to be “aggressive” in pursuing Cano last Tuesday and ended with the deal becoming official yesterday afternoon.
Brodie Van Wagenen—who was introduced as the team’s new general manager a little over one month ago and promised that the team would be “fearless and relentless in our pursuit of greatness”—welcomed the two newest Mets to the organization and told the crowd of reporters that this trade “should be a signal to our fans that words alone will not define our franchise”. The general manager described the team’s ownership group as having a “winning mindset” that operates under the belief that “everything is possible and nothing is impossible”.
Van Wagenen went on to praise Cano as one of the best second baseman in baseball history and someone who will increase run production and impact the middle of the team’s lineup. He called Diaz the best closer in baseball and someone who will electrify the fanbase and anchor the team’s bullpen, which finished last season with an abysmal 4.96 ERA, a 4.61 FIP, an a collective -0.6 fWAR.
With those remarks, Cano and Diaz were presented their new jerseys—Cano will wear the number 24 that he wore as a member of the New York Yankees, while Diaz will reclaim the number 39 he sported in Seattle—and the three of them posed for photos alongside Jeff Wilpon.
Cano spoke briefly, saying that he was happy to return to New York and for the opportunity to help the Mets win a World Series. Diaz echoed his teammate’s sentiment and told the assembly of reporters that they came here to “to reach the World Series and get that ring.”
In the question-and-answer portion that followed, Van Wagenen praised the players he sent to the Mariners and said Seattle “will be lucky to have” the guys they acquired. However, he expressed a willingness to make the sacrifice in the interest of filling “two primary needs that we laid out at the start of the offseason”. Brodie specifically called attention the team’s inability to score runs–something he is undoubtedly very familiar with as Jacob deGrom’s former agent—and called Cano a talented hitter who can consistently control the strike zone and give the team quality at-bats.
Cano called New York fans “the greatest fans in baseball” and affirmed that “it’s all about winning and being able to win another ring, especially on this side of the city.” Diaz expressed excitement to be heading to New York to play.
Van Wagenen closed out the conference by clearly laying out the mission ahead, saying that he “did not make this move to have this be our last move”. He expressed a goal of increasing production and adding more talent around the players they currently have on the roster.
A portion of the press conference can be viewed on MLB.com.