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Monday, May 20, 2019

Mickey Callaway’s greatest sin: Telling Mets GM what he wants to hear

Blood is in the water.

Jim Furtado Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:09 AM | 70 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: mets, mickey callaway

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   1. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5843706)

The fact that Brodie's first big deal as GM was a trade for Cano (and Diaz, to be fair) when he already had McNeill on the roster does indicate a pretty big misjudgment of talent. I still think this team is better than they've been playing but that one may haunt Brodie for a while, especially if the prospects they gave up amount to anything (Kelenic's numbers look pretty good so far this year, but he's still a 19-year-old in A ball).
   2. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 10:20 AM (#5843720)
The fact that Brodie's first big deal as GM was a trade for Cano (and Diaz, to be fair) when he already had McNeill on the roster does indicate a pretty big misjudgment of talent.

Do you think they really wanted Cano, or was Cano the price to get Diaz? McNeill is playing full time, so that really hasn't been an issue. If Cano was hitting, and Diaz weren't homer-prone, the deal would be fine.
   3. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 10:22 AM (#5843721)
I will never understand why the Mets thought their big off-season move--the one that all other moves Fe in place around--was trading for a closer. Cano was the price of getting Diaz, but they could have just kept the prosects, and signed Kimbrel for Cano money, then rolled with McNeil at 2b. (I wanted them to sign Pollock, and that hasn't worked out). Between Cano, Rosario, and Nimmo, the up the middle defense has been weak, and without offensive production in return. It's a depressing team to watch right now.
   4. Captain Supporter Posted: May 20, 2019 at 10:58 AM (#5843743)
Do you think they really wanted Cano, or was Cano the price to get Diaz?


Either way, it was really dumb. You don't commit to paying Cano $120 million plus prospects for five years to get a relief pitcher even Brodie did get rid of the salaries of Jay Bruce and Anthony Swadzak; as dp says, you just sign a relief pitcher. You are now stuck with Cano until he is 40, and you can't even move him to first base later on because you now have Peter Alonso. With that one move Brodie hurt his roster flexibility for the foreseeable future.

In any case, paying aging veterans large sums of money for multiple years is a loser's strategy. Particularly veterans who don't enjoy running out grounders on a team that very much needs leadership.
   5. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 11:17 AM (#5843756)

Do you think they really wanted Cano, or was Cano the price to get Diaz? McNeill is playing full time, so that really hasn't been an issue. If Cano was hitting, and Diaz weren't homer-prone, the deal would be fine.

I think it was a bit of both. There were enough moving pieces in the deal that it's hard to disentangle the various components of value. In the end, the deal probably isn't terrible as long as Diaz performs and they don't continue to play Cano for the next 5 years if he ends up being sub-replacement level (it helps that Bruce and Swarzak have continued to be bad for the Mariners).
   6. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 20, 2019 at 11:32 AM (#5843764)
Remember when the Mets traded for a future Hall of Fame 30-something second baseman who immediately collapsed into worthlessness?
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 11:33 AM (#5843766)
Either way, it was really dumb. You don't commit to paying Cano $120 million plus prospects for five years to get a relief pitcher even Brodie did get rid of the salaries of Jay Bruce and Anthony Swadzak; as dp says, you just sign a relief pitcher. You are now stuck with Cano until he is 40, and you can't even move him to first base later on because you now have Peter Alonso. With that one move Brodie hurt his roster flexibility for the foreseeable future.

In any case, paying aging veterans large sums of money for multiple years is a loser's strategy. Particularly veterans who don't enjoy running out grounders on a team that very much needs leadership.


IIRC, they're only paying Cano $60M, which changes the equation quite a bit. Cano and Diaz for $15M p.a. is a LOT better than Kimbrel for $15M p.a.

If Cano doesn't hit, they're not "stuck with him" they can bench him. If he does hit, McNeill can play 3B.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 11:34 AM (#5843768)
I think it was a bit of both. There were enough moving pieces in the deal that it's hard to disentangle the various components of value. In the end, the deal probably isn't terrible as long as Diaz performs and they don't continue to play Cano for the next 5 years if he ends up being sub-replacement level (it helps that Bruce and Swarzak have continued to be bad for the Mariners).

Agree. I think they were OK in getting Cano for the ~$60M net they're paying him. I think he still ends the year with good hitting stats.
   9. Captain Supporter Posted: May 20, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5843774)
If Cano doesn't hit, they're not "stuck with him" they can bench him.


Using a bench spot on an aging, disgruntled (he will be if you bench him) player like Cano will not be helpful in any way. You'd be better off DFAing him. This was a bad trade because it was focused on a relief pitcher, and if Cano fades quickly it will take way longer than it should for the Mets get rid of him. My guess it that it ends badly, but we'll see.
   10. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 11:55 AM (#5843779)
Using a bench spot on an aging, disgruntled (he will be if you bench him) player like Cano will not be helpful in any way. You'd be better off DFAing him. This was a bad trade because it was focused on a relief pitcher, and if Cano fades quickly it will take way longer than it should for the Mets get rid of him. My guess it that it ends badly, but we'll see.

It will end badly, the question is when? If it ends badly in year 4 or 5 of the contract, that was expected. If Cano can't hit anymore, that's a problem.

But, looking at the batted ball stats on Frangraphs, and exit velo, Cano is still hitting the ball hard. His K-rate is up significantly.
I'd still bet on a good offensive season. He's historically been better later in the season. May is his worst month for his career.
   11. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 12:34 PM (#5843794)
Obviously I'm hoping Cano turns it around (expecting it, but also wouldn't be shocked if a late 30s second baseman falls off a cliff, that's kinda what they do). There was speculation at the time that: 1) Cano would move to 1b rather soon, maybe 2019 part time or 2020 full time, and 2) that BVW had some insider knowledge about the NL moving to the DH. Neither of those really justifies acquiring him at his age and with that contract though, because both assume he'd continue to hit enough to justify a lineup spot where decent hitters are easier to come by. The Mets also didn't seem to have a ton of confidence in McNeil's 2018 to carry forward or in Alonso's ability to grab the 1b job out of the gate and run with it.
   12. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 12:40 PM (#5843797)
Robinson Cano and his contract don't solve problems, they create them. How anyone could possibly think otherwise is an utter mystery -- though it becomes less mysterious if Van Whatever is Cano's agent, which I haven't checked.

If he is Cano's agent, he obviously shouldn't have been allowed to trade for him.
   13. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:27 PM (#5843818)
Robinson Cano and his contract don't solve problems, they create them. How anyone could possibly think otherwise is an utter mystery -- though it becomes less mysterious if Van Whatever is Cano's agent, which I haven't checked.

If he is Cano's agent, he obviously shouldn't have been allowed to trade for him.


This makes no sense. The contract is 100% guaranteed. Whatever an Waggenen was going to get paid is already in the bag.
   14. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5843824)
This makes no sense. The contract is 100% guaranteed.


It makes perfect sense. If he's the guy's agent then trading for his contract helps Cano's reputation -- and therefore Van Whatever's. The whole thing reduces to just doing a favor for a bro. I don't want that kind of conflict in my front office.

In any event, it was a silly hire by the Mets. The guy's not qualified for the job in really any way. As long as Jeffy is around, the Mets will not be front officed well; that's just kind of the way it is at this point.
   15. Dog on the sidewalk has an ugly bracelet Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5843827)
Yes. Getting the Mariners to pay half Cano's contract for him to play elsewhere is clearly great for Cano's reputation. It's so obvious.
   16. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:51 PM (#5843828)
A lot of speculation for something that can looked up in three seconds.... Cano's represented by Roc Nation, and has been since he signed the Seattle deal.
   17. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:53 PM (#5843830)
In any case, the real mystery to me was why the Mets/BVW signed Jed Lowrie after having McNeil (let alone Frazier), trading for Cano, and then trading for JD Davis. Davis was presumably intended to a backup-utility guy, but what was Lowrie gonna do?
   18. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5843831)
In any case, the real mystery to me was why the Mets/BVW signed Jed Lowrie after having McNeil (let alone Frazier), trading for Cano, and then trading for JD Davis. Davis was presumably intended to a backup-utility guy, but what was Lowrie gonna do?

Lowrie was the real head scratcher.
   19. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:55 PM (#5843832)
For two years, no less.
   20. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 01:58 PM (#5843833)
A lot of speculation for something that can looked up in three seconds.


What better way to participate in a thread relating to one of baseball's most recalcitrant dogs than by dogging it?

Cano's represented by Roc Nation, and has been since he signed the Seattle deal.


Then we're left with only incompetence, not incompetence with a conflict-of-interest.
   21. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:01 PM (#5843836)
Brodie was Cano's agent when he signed the Seattle deal. He obviously isn't anymore. I can see the argument that BVW might have had rose-colored glasses with regards to Cano's value as a result of having been his agent, but I don't really understand how trading for Cano's contract helps BVW in 2019 unless it's a good baseball deal. There shouldn't be any conflict of interest, but if BVW couldn't be trusted to objectively evaluate a former client's value as a player then he shouldn't have been hired as GM at all (I'm not granting the premise, just that simply saying he shouldn't have been allowed to trade for Cano doesn't make sense).
   22. geonose Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:02 PM (#5843837)
Per Cot's, Cano is being paid $24M/year through 2023. So for the five years the Mets have him, that's $120M. The Mariners are only picking up $20M of the total freight, so the Mets are paying $100M, not $60M.
   23. Yonder Alonso in misguided trousers (cardinal) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5843839)
Brodie was Cano's agent when he signed the Seattle deal.

Looking into further, this does seem to be the case, though the first article I found mentions both BVW/CAA and Roc Nation, and doesn't make the actual relationships clear. So I dogged it a bit too, apparently. (Another, unrelated article says this: "Last April, CAA Sports entered into a joint business venture with Shawn Carter—better known as rap artist and entertainment mogul Jay-Z—to form Roc Nation Sports.")

So who knows, really. I can't imagine BVW would have been hired without, as Dave says in 21, some sort of trust in his ability to be objective with regard to former clients, but it's the Mets, so.

I guess we also don't necessarily know if BVW recused himself from the Cano deal in particular because of that past relationship, but he presumably should have, though one never knows with a deal of that size.
   24. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:10 PM (#5843840)
But the Mets unloaded Bruce and Swarzak, which is (I think) where the $60m comes from.
   25. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5843841)
There shouldn't be any conflict of interest, but if BVW couldn't be trusted to objectively evaluate a former client's value as a player then he shouldn't have been hired as GM at all


Bingo. The "if" part *is* the conflict of interest, but if we want to get away from that terminology, we can just go with your statement.

But in the end it doesn't really matter -- the guy wasn't qualified for the job.(*) He brings nothing to the table other that the fact that he isn't really that qualified and therefore is better situated to "work well with Jeffy."

(*) And so a natural heuristic is "Oh, I know him very well, I have extra insight on his makeup because I worked closely with him as his agent." Thanks, but no thanks.
   26. Panik on the streets of Flushing! (Trout! Trout!) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:11 PM (#5843842)
so the Mets are paying $100M, not $60M.


True, but misleading. The Mariners also are paying Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak's salaries which total another 20 million roughly.

Coke to dp
   27. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:16 PM (#5843846)
$33 million total. Bruce has 2 years left at 13 per; Swarzak 1 at 7 per. (Assuming no material front or back loading. Bruce was 3/39, Swarzak 2/14.)

Diaz will be arb eligible this winter, offsetting some of the Bruce money.
   28. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5843854)
$33 million total. Bruce has 2 years left at 13 per; Swarzak 1 at 7 per. (Assuming no material front or back loading. Bruce was 3/39, Swarzak 2/14.)

There was some back-loading. The M's are picking up $28M of Bruce's deal (which was 11/14/14) and $8.5M of Swarzak's (which was 5.5/8.5) so they are picking up $36.5M. So the Mets effectively got 5 years of Cano for $64.5M as part of the deal.

EDIT: The fact that Diaz will be arb-eligible doesn't offset the Bruce savings, since he should still be underpaid relative to his value.
   29. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:45 PM (#5843857)
So the Mets effectively got 5 years of Cano for $64.5M as part of the deal.


Still too much and far in excess of what he'd have gotten if he'd been on the open market this offseason. (See, e.g., Kimbrel, Craig). Dude is more of a Downward Dog than the yoga pose.

The fact that Diaz will be arb-eligible doesn't offset the Bruce savings, since he should still be underpaid relative to his value.


In purely dollar terms, it does. Once value is put into the mix, it becomes apples/oranges.
   30. bfan Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:48 PM (#5843860)
the guy wasn't qualified for the job.(*) He brings nothing to the table other that the fact that he isn't really that qualified and therefore is better situated to "work well with Jeffy."


He certainly gives good interview. He must have represented 20% of the air time/interview material on the sirius radio baseball channel over the winter months. I understand that NYC by right has 10% of that time, but he took the Yankees time and then some. "Best team in the NL East" is what he labelled the Mets in those interviews, putting all kinds of screws to his manager.
   31. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:51 PM (#5843864)
So, how short is Callaway’s leash? 3-game losing streak and he’s gone? Or is the buzz just media filler?
   32. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 02:55 PM (#5843865)
Thor/Wheeler/deGrom are all under-performing. Ramos, Cano, and Nimmo are all way below their projections, and Rosario's been pretty terrible with the glove at SS. They've had a bunch of injuries in the bullpen. I don't think high expectations were unjustified.
   33. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:22 PM (#5843872)
So, how short is Callaway’s leash? 3-game losing streak and he’s gone? Or is the buzz just media filler?

I have no idea, but it's a 5-game losing streak, including 3 against the Marlins. They're 11-21 after starting the season 9-4.

I agree with #32 (and most pre-season projection systems) that the team should be better than this. Don't know that I'd put the blame on Callaway -- he was given a somewhat oddly constructed roster and has used some guys well and some guys not well. The team has the second-worst ERA+ in the NL (and I believe the worst RA+). The defense is the worst in the NL, 27 runs below average (or 24, or 35, depending on which metric you look at on BB-Ref). That's on par with last year's Phillies.

The "good" news is that almost all of that -27 can be accounted for by two guys: Davis and Rosario. Rosario hasn't been this bad in the past (he hasn't been good, but he's already made 10 errors this season after only 16 last year). Fix that left side of the infield defense and you probably solve a lot of your problems.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:32 PM (#5843877)
Robinson Cano had a 136 OPS+ last season. Sure, he could have gone off the cliff this offseason, but such a dive is actually quite rare.

   35. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:37 PM (#5843881)
Wow, didn't realize Davis has been that bad. He doesn't look good over there (wtf is up with his weird throws?). But Lowrie should fix that.

The Davis and Broxton moves seemed like massive overpays for guys who each have sort of fatal flaws that should've been revealed through scouting. Davis is inexplicably bad at 3b, and Broxton strikes out too much to be counted on to hit well. Davis at least was a good fallback at 1b...but they had Smith for that already (and Flores, if they had held onto him).
   36. Jeremy Renner App is Dead and I killed it Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:38 PM (#5843883)
34--That and one of the stronger signals in Cano's career is that he plays better later in the season. His top 3 OPS by month are July, August, Sept. His last season of less than 3 WAR was 2008. Dude's amazing in his consistency
   37. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:41 PM (#5843887)
Robinson Cano had a 136 OPS+ last season.


On roids.

Sure, he could have gone off the cliff this offseason, but such a dive is actually quite rare.


Robby Alomar's was 150 in 677 PAs the year before he came to the Mets and Acapulco'd. At 34, not Cano's 36.
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:43 PM (#5843888)
Robby Alomar's was 150 in 677 PAs the year before he came to the Mets and Acapulco'd. At 34, not Cano's 36.


Robby Alomar-type cliff dives are very rare, which is why he's the first name that comes to mind when we think of them.

   39. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:50 PM (#5843891)
Robby Alomar-type cliff dives are very rare,


Not really; many divers don't get as much time to confirm the dive, or the dive happens in two years rather than one. Or it's not a cliff dive because they weren't on a cliff to begin with, but it's a clear plummet.

Brandon Crawford's play and peripherals (speed numbers, etc.) have fallen badly at 32.

Johnny Ray fell 24 OPS points at 32 and was done in a year after the plummet. I'm sure we can find many similar examples among middle infielders.

Now that roids are tested for, what's been true historically is now even more true -- elite-level baseball is a young man's game. Thirty-six years old is a red flag standing alone. Combine it with Cano's ... cough ... um ... approach, and the red flags are ablaze. The only sensible move is to stay a million miles away. Five years, $65 million is clownshoes.
   40. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:56 PM (#5843894)
Joe Morgan plummeted 33 OPS+ points at 34, but had enough in the tank and had a good enough makeup that he stayed at the materially lower level for several years after. Which, since he started at such a high baseline, was good enough. Cano is no Joe Morgan, though -- obviously.
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 03:57 PM (#5843896)

Wow, didn't realize Davis has been that bad. He doesn't look good over there (wtf is up with his weird throws?). But Lowrie should fix that.

I don't put a lot of faith in 30 games worth of defensive stats, but yeah he hasn't looked very good at 3B.
   42. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:01 PM (#5843902)
Willie Randolph: 34 point plummet at 33, never the same again, though he did have a bit of a 2/3 year dead cat bounce at 36.
   43. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5843904)
Bret Boone, an Alomarian 46 point cliff dive at 35 and that was that.

The warning signs are everywhere.
   44. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:04 PM (#5843906)

After being perfectly cromulent against lefties his entire career, Cano's numbers against LHP have absolutely cratered this season (.133/.204/.133). His numbers against righties are still decent (.288/.328/.466). Again, maybe this is just a SSS issue but if he doesn't turn that around the Mets should probably platoon him with someone who can hit lefties.
   45. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:05 PM (#5843907)
#lolMets:
"Yoenis Cespedes suffered multiple ankle fractures in an accident on his ranch in Port St. Lucie, Florida on Saturday night."

So 2019 is another cursed season...
   46. Lassus Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:10 PM (#5843910)
That must have been a serious truck he was washing.
   47. Lassus Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:11 PM (#5843913)
Stupid Lucas Duda with that stupid throw.
   48. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:16 PM (#5843916)
Josh Hamilton, Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera .....
   49. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5843922)
#44: Coming into 2019, this looked like the type of team that would be built for those types of arrangements. Could easily see a Broxton or Davis/Cano platoon working out, with McNeil sliding from lf or 3b to 2b. But now that Davis looks like he can't handle 3b, and Broxton is gone, that looks a lot less palatable.

I also wonder how much, before today, the Mets planned on Cespedes as a nice mid-season bump to the offense. I wasn't counting on it, but I was hoping it'd happen.
   50. geonose Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:34 PM (#5843925)
But the Mets unloaded Bruce and Swarzak, which is (I think) where the $60m comes from.

Ah yes, I didn't think of that; it should definitely be factored in.
   51. Captain Supporter Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:45 PM (#5843930)
It should be factored in, but fully, unless you think Bruce and Swarzak have no value as players at all. Plus the Mets gave up prospects.
   52. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 04:53 PM (#5843931)
It should be factored in, but fully, unless you think Bruce and Swarzak have no value as players at all. Plus the Mets gave up prospects.

If FAs, Bruce and Swarzak would get a split contract and an invitation to Spring training. They have zero trade value.
   53. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:00 PM (#5843937)
Apparently Swarzak either had or has rebuilt his trade value, though before 5 minutes ago I shared snapper's take:
"The Braves acquired right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak and cash from the Mariners on Monday, sending injured closer Arodys Vizcaíno and left-hander Jesse Biddle to Seattle."
   54. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:02 PM (#5843942)
If FAs, Bruce and Swarzak would get a split contract and an invitation to Spring training.


Cano wouldn't get much more, if any.

They have zero trade value.


Cano had negative trade value, which is why a valuable asset had to be appended to be able to jettison him. The Mets actually gave up two pretty good prospects, too, which is pretty appalling. And Swarzak had more trade value than Cano.

   55. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5843945)
Apparently Swarzak either had or has rebuilt his trade value, though before 5 minutes ago I shared snapper's take:
"The Braves acquired right-handed reliever Anthony Swarzak and cash from the Mariners on Monday, sending injured closer Arodys Vizcaíno and left-hander Jesse Biddle to Seattle."


Vizcaino is out for the year, and is a FA. He's just a dead contract. Biddle is a 27 reliever who's lost all control.

Swarzak's still worth 0.
   56. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:05 PM (#5843946)
Cano wouldn't get much more, if any.


Before this season? Total BS. He had a 136 wRC+ last year, after the suspension.

Cano had negative trade value, which is why a valuable asset had to be appended to be able to jettison him.

Seattle also got prospects. At 5/60, Cano may have had negative value, but it was slightly negative.
   57. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:08 PM (#5843951)
Before this season? Total BS. He had a 136 wRC+ last year, after the suspension.


So? He's 36 with one of the worst contracts in the sport. No one would have traded anything of value for him, without either contractual or prospect sweeteners. That defines zero trade value.

At 5/60, Cano may have had negative value, but it was slightly negative.


5/60 isn't how his trade value is measured. Trading for that contract isn't trading for Cano; it's trading for Cano and 60 million dollars. 60 million dollars has value.

Seattle also got prospects.


In effective exchange for Diaz and the money.
   58. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:12 PM (#5843953)
Umm, you responded to this:

If FAs, Bruce and Swarzak would get a split contract and an invitation to Spring training.


with this:

Cano wouldn't get much more, if any.


If he were a FA Cano would have gotten much more than a minor league deal, though less than 5/60.
   59. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:13 PM (#5843954)
5/60 isn't how his trade value is measured. Trading for that contract isn't trading for Cano; it's trading for Cano and 60 million dollars. 60 million dollars has value.

And he was probably worth $40M on the FA market. So, the Mets traded $20M and prospects for Cano and Diaz.
   60. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:18 PM (#5843956)
At 5/60, Cano may have had negative value, but it was slightly negative

That's crazy. Way way way more than sightly, to the point that giving up Diaz was the cost of getting his contact off the books. A five-year contract at $12m a year for a 36 year old 2b with a recent steroid suspension would be 4 years too long.

Serious question: what do you think Cano would've gotten as a free agent this past offseason? Edit: see you've already answered. IMO that's about 20m too high, with Lowrie's contract as a case in point.
   61. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:21 PM (#5843958)
Serious question: what do you think Cano would've gotten as a free agent this past offseason? Edit: see you've already answered. IMO that's about 20m too high, with Lowrie's contract as a case in point.

McCutchen got $50M, Zach Britton got $40M. Cano has been evry very good for a very long time. I still think he ends the season with a wRC+ >110.
   62. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5843961)
If he were a FA Cano would have gotten much more than a minor league deal, though less than 5/60.


Not much more. His type of player is dramatically out of style. Daniel Murphy got 2/24 and he's two years younger. He was a year off the magic 136 OPS+ figure, only he actually did it over a whole year sans roids. Cano might not have even got a multi-year offer. Nelson Cruz didn't.
   63. . Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:27 PM (#5843962)
McCutchen got $50M, Zach Britton got $40M.


McCutchen is four years younger. When his three-year deal is over, he'll be younger than Cano is now. Britton is a relief pitcher, five years younger than Cano.
   64. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:39 PM (#5843968)
Yeah I don't see how either of those rank as comparables. This is 2019 Cano they're paying for, with a roid suspension discount that would certainly be factored in.
   65. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:49 PM (#5843969)

Murphy is a bad defender who was below replacement level last year. When he put up a 136 in a full season he was worth less than Cano doing it in half a season. The fact that he got 2/$24M is a point in snapper's favor.
   66. Captain Supporter Posted: May 20, 2019 at 05:59 PM (#5843974)
2 years to a 34 year old second baseman vs. 5 years for a 36 year old second baseman. I'd take Murphy in a heartbeat because if it doesn't work out it doesn't screw up my payroll or my roster for the next four years.
   67. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 20, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5843978)
fdp: Cano entering his 36yo season would not have gotten 5 years. But he would have gotten at least 2, likely 3, at a significantly higher AAV than 12m. People don't care nearly as much about steroid suspensions as they did even 5-6 years ago. They mostly come and go without much comment these days.
And you are underestimating how good he has been prior to this season. Without the suspension, he was on pace for 6WAR last season. 3.5 in 17, 7.3 in 16. That is still all-star level production. Those kind of players do not grow on trees.

My guess is FA Cano before this season gets at least 2/40, and probably a third year at 15-20 on top.
   68. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 20, 2019 at 06:17 PM (#5843982)

2 years to a 34 year old second baseman vs. 5 years for a 36 year old second baseman. I'd take Murphy in a heartbeat because if it doesn't work out it doesn't screw up my payroll or my roster for the next four years.

Murphy's not a 2B at this point (not making a joke; he has only played 1B/DH this year).
   69. Captain Supporter Posted: May 20, 2019 at 06:28 PM (#5843989)
Good point, but Cano won't be a second basemen either in the last couple of years of his contract.
   70. formerly dp Posted: May 20, 2019 at 06:28 PM (#5843990)
Fancy Pants: in a pre-2017/2018 market, I could see your point a bit. But right now, teams seem to be very cautious about giving contracts to older players, and the roid suspension casts doubt on his ability to play pre-2018 levels forward. On top of that, this past offseason wasn't kind to veteran 2b: Lowrie, Dozier, Lemahieu, ect.

I remain optimistic about Cano's ability to rebound this year. But with the emergence of Alonso, they don't have a spot to move him to when they decide his defense is no longer palatable at 2b.

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