By Joe Leo
Published: December 5th, 2018
Robinson Cano is a New York Met.
As odd as that seems, that is the reality that New York baseball fans have to get used to as the Mets pulled the trigger on a trade they feel can propel them into the 2019 playoffs.
The Wilpon brain trust has contributed a large part to the questionable decisions that have been made since the 2015 season when Flushing was on fire heading to the World Series. It has been the Wilpon’s that have decided to not spend money in order to help the team on the field keep that World Series level of play.
Instead of opening up the checkbook and trying to win a World Series, they have done the opposite, and have hopelessly wondered what they were doing wrong. It also didn’t help that one of their best pitchers decided to not get an MRI, their mascot flipping off a fan, and having the team bat out of order in Cincinnati—but this Cano trade could be the turning of the tide for the Metropolitans.
The Mets almost have to spend money because of the emergence of Jacob deGrom, also because Syndergaard is one of the best pitchers in baseball when he is healthy, Cespesdes can light the league on fire when he is right, and they have what seems like a good talent in Jeff McNeil.
Add Cano into that mix and you have a team that could make some noise in the NL East. Looking at the possible free agents, should the Mets add players like Yasmani Grandal, Andrew McCutchen, or Andrew Miller, this team could definitely have the talent to make the playoffs in 2019. The last thing the Wilpon’s can do is sit on their hands following this Cano trade. If they do, they will continue to be the laughing stock of Major League Baseball.
For the cross-town rival New York Yankees, this move is a shot to the armor moving into the 2019 season. The Bombers were linked to Cano at times during the swirling trade rumors. Seattle already sent James Paxton to the pinstripes so the direct line between Cashman and the Mariners was open. Cano also would’ve answered a need for the 2019 club with the hole at second following the Didi Gregorius injury forcing Gleyber Torres to move to short. Cano is also a left-handed bat that would split up a heavy right-handed lineup. If Gregorius came back this year, Cano would also be able to still contribute with a possible move to first base if Greg Bird continued his struggles from a year ago.
Now, as the Yanks look across the river, they still have a lot of work to do if they want to be raising the World Series trophy next season. Without Cano, the Yankees could turn their attention to Daniel Murphy, or re-sign Neil Walker, or try their hand at Jed Lowrie. The Bombers also need to add arms to the bullpen with Andrew Miller, Zach Britton, and Joakim Soria. Let’s not also forget the possibility of signing Bryce Harper and Manny Machado.
Looking at all of those players, Murphy, Miller, and Soria would make the most sense due to the flexibility that it gives the club when the team returns to full strength. Murphy can do similar things that Cano could (and is cheaper), Miller was fantastic in his time in New York and would drastically improve their bullpen, and Soria would just add another fireballer to the armory.
Whatever the Yankees choose to do moving forward to say that this Cano trade doesn’t affect both of the New York teams would be completely false. The trade is the ice breaker for both teams as they enter a pivotal offseason.