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Friday, November 30, 2018

2018 FANTASY BASEBALL TRADE FALLOUT: GRADING PROSPECTIVE FUTURE VALUES OF KEY PLAYERS IN METS/MARINERS ROBINSON CANO TRADE

It seems like all of MLB baseball is in a holding patterns waiting for the much-discussed trade between the New York Mets and Seattle Mariners centering on former All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano and top closer Edwin Diaz to be completed.  The latest on Friday was that all the players have been agreed upon and that the last hurdle is working out how much money the M's will cover on Cano's remaining five contract years.  So with all that said, let's see how the key players involved will fare in their new homes:

Robinson Cano:  Coming off a stupid and disturbing PED suspension in 2018, Cano is trying to work to reclaim his good name which he began to do by hitting .303 in the 80 games he did suit up for last season.  Be that as it may, Cano is now 36 and with a ton of mileage on his body for a guy who has a history of not always hustling.  It stands to reason that Cano will see some decline in his numbers on a per game basis as given his advancing age and for the fact he will likely face physical problems given that he won't be able to DH in the NL.  Now in terms of the actual level of performance, Cano is still capable of hitting 20--25 home runs and collecting 80-plus runs and RBI with an average near .300.  It is crucial Cano stay around the .300 realm as any dip there would make him just another flawed slugger in a current MLB that has an unending supply of such players.  Digging into the advanced numbers in his 80 games a year ago, Cano's 13.5 K/9 and 9.2 BB/9 remain superb and that certainly bodes well in the .300 venture.  Add to the fact Cano will have first and second base eligibility in most leagues this season and the immediate picture for 2019 doesn't look terrible.  Anything beyond that though is up for debate as Cano will strictly be on a year-to-year basis on terms of fantasy baseball value.

Edwin Diaz:  There is no debate that Edwin Diaz is the best closer in the game as he logged a 1.96 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, and a truly insane 15.22 K/9 a year ago.  Whether he is with the Mariners or the Mets, Diaz should be the top closer off the board this season in all fantasy baseball drafts.

Jay Bruce:  The move out west could help[ rejuvenate Jay Bruce who was absolutely horrible in 2018 as he missed a major portion of the season with injury and batted just .223 with 9 home runs and 37 RBI.  Be that as it may, Bruce is a proven 25-30 home run hitter who can easily go back to those numbers in 2019 if he can stay on the field.  On the negative side, Bruce is a bad batting average hitter who also no longer steals bases.  That makes him a very mediocre overall hitter for fantasy baseball purposes and thus Bruce should only be a late-round pick this spring. 


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