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Mets’ World Series Odds Don’t Get a Boost from Cano and Diaz

Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano at the plate.
Robinson Cano is headed to the Mets following a blockbuster seven-player trade with the Mariners. Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License]
  • 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.

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

Team Odds
Boston Red Sox +600
Houston Astros +700
  New York Yankees +750
Los Angeles Dodgers +800
Chicago Cubs +1000

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

2014 .314 14 82
2015 .287 21 79
2016 .298 39 103
2017 .280 23 97
2018 .303 10 50

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. 

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.

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.

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