New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen spoke about his offseason trade for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano.
New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen made a big splash in his first offseason, acquiring Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz from the Seattle Mariners for a package centered around Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn.
Diaz struggled to a 5.59 ERA and gave up a brutal 2.3 HR/9 in his first season in Queens. Despite those struggles, the team has no intention of trading him this offseason. Cano slashed a paltry .256/.307/.428 and spent three stints on the injured list.
Van Wagenen addressed those moves to the media, as well as how he views them going forward. Van Wagenen spoke about why he felt the need to make the trade last offseason.
“From my standpoint on the Diaz and the Cano trade, I would say first off that every move that we made last offseason and hopefully every move we’ll make going forward is rooted in wanting to win in this current season, and wanting to continue to win in subsequent seasons,” Van Wagenen told Colin Martin of SNY.
Van Wagenen made the move in an effort to help a team that had a solid core but a lack of supplemental talent win games in 2019. The idea was solid, as the team was getting the best closer in the game in 2018 in his prime, and a guy in Cano who had still been productive despite his advanced age.
“2019 we had high expectations and ambition, and bringing a middle of the order bat as well as an elite closer in the organization was something that was a priority and we made a priority,” Van Wagenen said. “I think that we recognized that we were gonna be giving up good players, some major league players in Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak, as well as some good minor league players.”
Bruce (Philadelphia Phillies) and Swarzak (Atlanta Braves) both found themselves with NL East rivals, but neither had been particularly productive for the Mets in 2018. Meanwhile, Kelenic and Dunn have both risen in prospect lists since the trade, and could be big pieces for the Mariners going forward.
“We recognized that the minor league players probably weren’t gonna make a significant impact in 2019 for sure. And obviously, may make an impact to the Mariners in 2020, but that’s a little bit less clear. We felt like Diaz and Cano would make impacts immediately. And after a great start by Edwin in April, obviously he had some challenges as the year went on.”
Diaz definitely didn’t have the year that he or the team hoped for, but he is still a young pitcher with electric stuff. And Van Wagenen feels that both will be contributors in 2020.
The trade didn’t work out as the team hoped in 2019, but Diaz should still be a key cog in the Mets bullpen in 2020 and beyond. Van Wagenen certainly hopes so.