Brodie Van Wagenen made his first substantial move as the Mets new general manager when he acquired Robinson Cano and stud closer Edwin Diaz in a blockbuster trade with the Seattle Mariners.
This trade has been met with mixed reviews by analysts, as the Mets had to forfeit two of their top prospects and absorb a five-year $100 million contact for a 36-year-old middle infielder.
The real issue that people have in this trade is the fact that the Mets included outfielder Jarred Kelenic, who was the sixth overall pick in this year's draft.
Kelenic is the No. 62-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 list at just 19 years old, which has every Mets fan thinking that they just traded a possible future Mike Trout.
I'll tell you why: Kelenic was the highest upside offensive draft pick the Mets have picked, maybe in my life time. He's simply in another class than the Milledge's and Escobar's. He's got a chance to be a poor man's Mike Trout.— Phil (@earlp1231) November 30, 2018
The reason to like this deal is because it shows that the Mets are ready to win now, and the next step to that is signing Adam Jones.
The Mets were a poorly constructed team the last few years as they have refused to roster a legitimate center fielder and have been one of the worst defensive teams in baseball. They have also been blocking their top prospects from having positions available that they can grow into. This trade fixed a lot of those issues by removing Jay Bruce from the equation.
Now the Mets have first base open for top prospect Peter Alonso, meanwhile Brandon Nimmo and Michael Conforto can be penciled in to start in the corner outfield positions. Signing Jones to a one- or two-year contract would give them a legitimate center fielder, while also adding a much-needed right-handed bat in the OF.
Brodie says Mets looking at SH/RHB OF: "I do think we’d like to have some versatility in the OF with a RHB given the left handers with Conforto, Nimmo and Jay Bruce so I do think we’d like to add some options there from the right-handed side of the plate or switch hitters.”— Matt Ehalt (@MattEhalt) November 8, 2018
Another reason why Jones could be on the Mets' radar is because, like Cano, Jones is a CAA client.
The Mets are now swimming in a sea of conflict of interest as Van Wagenen negotiates with players that he used to represent as an agent at CAA. The background knowledge that he possesses will likely be key in a lot of the Mets' moves.
Brodie Van Wagenen has conflict of interest problems, and MLB should have known that https://t.co/ncookRyYcS— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) November 2, 2018
Cano and Jones came into the league a year apart from one another, played in the same division for six seasons, were on the same All-Star team three times, and are represented by the same agency.
Van Wagenen solved two areas of need and rid the Mets of two bad contracts to actually lower the team's payroll heading into free agency, which could help them lure Jones to the Big Apple.
Officially official. The Mariners trade Edwin Diaz, Robinson Cano and $20 million to the Mets for Bruce, Swarzak, Kelenic, Dunn and Bautista, and Mets will pay Cano 5 yrs $63 million pic.twitter.com/EwFQy7kgub— Starting 9 (@Starting9) December 3, 2018
It was bold first move, but at least it shows that Van Wagenen is looking to take one last shot at bringing the Mets a World Series with this core.