Mariners: Attaching Haniger or Diaz in a Cano Trade Cannot Happen
First, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto told reporters that the idea of rebuilding “just doesn’t make a lot of sense. Then, there was a rumor of a ‘full-fledged’ teardown. And now, as many Mariner fans have come to know, Dipoto and Co. are in the process of ‘re-imagining’ the roster.
From shipping Seattle ace James Paxton to the Bronx and veteran Catcher Mike Zunino to Tampa, the Mariners will look quite different in 2019. However, until last week, nobody thought that Robinson Cano would be in trade talks this offseason.
Cano has only received half of his monster 10-year, $240,000,000 contract that he signed in the winter of 2013. The Mariners still owe him $120 million over the next five years, meaning he will theoretically wear a Seattle uniform as a 40-year-old in 2023. But how does this fit into the mold of young talent that Dipoto wants for the Mariners? It doesn’t.
If the Mariners are able to move Cano and his contract elsewhere, they will. There’s just one problem: who in their minds would take on such a contract for a 36-year-old veteran past its prime?
Well, some teams have been in talks with the Mariners to acquire Cano. However, rumors point to the idea of attaching a young star to the deal with him, in hopes of luring a team into eating the contract.
Dear Jerry: don’t do it.
The biggest mistake Seattle could make is attaching another young player they are currently shopping to a deal just to move Cano. In recent headlines, Jean Segura and Edwin Diaz have been brought up in Mariners trade talks. Both carry incredible trade value for their affordability and young age, but if one were to be shipped with Cano, Jerry Dipoto would knowingly slash the value of a young star dramatically just to free cap space. Of course, removing such a massive contract from the books is a plus, but not at the sacrifice of your return for a young player.
I don’t want to go there, but Mitch Haniger is another name that could be attached to Cano, and this absolutely cannot happen. Hanger finished 11th in AL MVP voting at 27 years old and could be entering his prime at the time Dipoto has finished his re-imagining process.
In fact, the Mariners may be better off keeping Cano on the team. They are in no emergency with their payroll, and after 2019, veteran Felix Hernandez will have been fully paid for (he is due nearly $28 million next season).
The simple reality is that we cannot read Jerry Dipoto’s mind. At one point, he said he would have to be ‘blown away’ to send Diaz or Haniger out of Seattle. Now, it may be a legitimate possibility.
If the Mariners want to trade Cano, fine. But please: don’t ship away a player with him that could help the team win a World Series in the years to come.