Both the Mets and Yankees are being tied to reports declaring the possibility of making a deal for Robinson Cano. Please, say it ain’t so.
Robinson Cano is the kind of player who can get out of bed and with little or no effort hit .300 with 20 home runs and 90 RBI for you. He unconsciously makes baseball look easy, which is fine as long as he does the things on the field a major league player is supposed to do – all the time.
The trouble arises when Cano takes a stroll towards first base on a ground ball or a fly to the outfield, usually an out 95 percent of the time, it’s just that five percent that often turns out to hurt his team when a miscue is made.
Or, you’ll get that almost underhand toss to first base on a ground ball hit to him, and a throw specifically timed with just enough speed to nip the runner. They used to call it showboating, but whatever it is, it’s nerve-wracking.
More than the Yankees, it’s the Mets who appear closer to the fire in making a deal with the Seattle Mariners to bring Robinson Cano back to New York. As reported by ESPN, here’s what the deal looked like as of midnight Friday:
Always the creative deal-maker, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto has sweetened the trade by adding closer Edwin Diaz to the package. Diaz, 24, is the prize in the deal. He had a 1.96 ERA and led the majors with 57 saves last season.
Lawyers for both the Mets and Mariners will be engaged in sorting out which team owes what on the remaining $120 million of Robinson Cano’s $240 million contract. But unless the Mets get Cano for free (not likely), this is not a good deal for the Mets. For consideration too, Cano has a full no-trade clause in that very generous contract.
Moreover, we haven’t even mentioned the fact that Robinson Cano is a doper who was suspended for 80 games in 2018. Let it be. It speaks for itself.
For the Yankees, the deal makes even less sense. Beyond the lure of Diaz, the Yankees would use Cano at second base, moving Gleyber Torres to shortstop to cover the absence of Didi Gregorius, who will not be returning until at least June.
What happens after Gregorius returns, no one can or wants to answer. Does Torres move to third base, making Miguel Andujar an extra piece? Or, might Cano’s presence mean the Yankees do not pursue an extension on Didi’s contract, which is due to expire at the end of 2019?
The main question, though, is, does either team need this headache to deal with for the next five years?
From the outside looking in, Robinson Cano is the type of person who will take shortcuts in life whenever and wherever he can, whether it’s on or off the field.
Look at it this way. If Robinson Cano is the man who considered it necessary to give his body an illegal boost at the age of 35, instead of doing the hard work professional athletes do to keep their bodies in shape – how far will Cano go when he’s 38 with two years remaining on his contract?
How many ground balls will be trot out to “conserve” energy for the long haul? In short, what will Robinson Cano be like as a teammate when he can no longer merely get out of bed and hit .300?
Once bitten, twice shy – this should be a no-brainer for the Yankees and Brian Cashman. But you never know, and with Cashman he might be trying, for instance, to steal two-time All-Star infielder, Jean Segura, in the same trade…
In Metland, Brodie Van Wagenen desperately needs a closer and a splash to grab the headlines on the back page of New York newspapers. Diaz fits the bill. But is that enough to add the financial and behavior albatross Robinson Cano brings to the team? We’ll see.
Written by Steve Contursi, Editor, Reflections On Baseball
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