- The Mets’ World Series odds have barely improved despite acquiring a pair of All-Stars
- Can Robinson Cano regain his form in the Big Apple?
- Can Edwin Diaz prove that last year’s breakout campaign wasn’t a fluke?
The Mets stoked baseball’s hot stove over the weekend by acquiring All-Stars Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz in a blockbuster seven-player trade with the Mariners.
It’s official! We’ve acquired 8x All-Star @RobinsonCano and All-Star closer @EdiDiaz44 from Seattle in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Gerson Bautista, minor league RHP Justin Dunn and minor league outfielder Jarred Kelenic. #Mets pic.twitter.com/h6Qd7sQvoW
— New York Mets (@Mets) December 3, 2018
The deal has generated plenty of excitement among fans in Flushing, but it’s hardly moved the needle on New York’s odds to win the 2019 World Series, as the club has barely budged from +3100 on November 26th to +2900 on December 3rd.
2019 World Series Odds
|Boston Red Sox||+600|
|New York Yankees||+750|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||+800|
The lack of movement may seem surprising at first blush given the pedigree of the players the Mets received, but there are three reasons why oddsmakers are reluctant to jump on New York’s bandwagon.
1. Cano is Well Past His Prime
Cano’s resume speaks for itself, but it’s fair to wonder what the Mets can expect from the 36-year-old second baseman as he enters the back nine of his career. The eight-time All-Star hasn’t finished in the top five in MVP voting since 2014 and was suspended 80 games last season for using performance-enhancing drugs. Was it all an innocent mistake, as Cano has insisted, or is it the beginning of the end for his otherwise brilliant career?
Robinson Cano Statistics
2. They Gave Up a Pair of Studs in Kelenic and Dunn
In order to complete the deal, Mets General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen had to give up two of the franchise’s top prospects in Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn.
Kelenic, in particular, looks like a star in the making. The 19-year-old outfielder was the sixth pick in the 2018 MLB Draft and possesses exceptional bat speed and impressive discipline at the plate. He hit .413 in the Gulf Coast League this past summer, before being promoted to the Mets’ Rookie League affiliate in Kingsport. Dunn, meanwhile, is a gritty competitor with a plus fastball who went 8-8 with a 3.59 ERA last year while splitting time between Double-A and Class A-Advanced.
Jarred Kelenic says he grew up watching Cano play with Yankees. "To be involved in that same trade is pretty crazy and pretty humbling. It's a positive thing in my career and I’m excited for what the future holds.”
— Greg Johns (@GregJohnsMLB) December 3, 2018
Neither player is ready for the Bigs just yet, but they could become franchise cornerstones for the rebuilding Mariners.
3. New York Still Has Plenty of Holes to Fill
Cano and Diaz are both useful pieces, but the club still has other pressing concerns it needs to address, beginning at backstop. Starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud missed all but four games in 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and is an underwhelming option even when healthy. Ditto for backup Kevin Plawecki, who hit just .210 in 277 plate appearances last season.
Is there anyone worse in the MLB than Travis d'arnoud?!?
— HAA$E (@dhaase19) April 10, 2017
The Mets also need all the help they can get in the bullpen, after New York’s relievers finished a distant 28th in ERA and WAR in 2018. Manager Mickey Callaway can’t afford to overtax his notoriously fragile starters, so finding some live arms for the pen should be a major priority.
The Mets Aren’t Amazin’ Just Yet
The Mets deserve credit for briefly stealing attention away from the Yankees, but the Bronx Bombers are still the best team in New York.
The Yanks made a splashy offseason move of their own by adding Mariners ace James Paxton to a team that won 100 games during the regular season, and they’re likely not done wheeling and dealing just yet. Consider sprinkling a few dollars on them now before their next big move makes their +750 odds even shorter.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.