MLB hot stove: Nine Robinson Cano trade destinations that the Mariners should be pursuing
The Mariners are in fire sale mode, so let's try to find Cano a new home
The Mariners have already traded James Paxton and Mike Zunino this offseason and it appears . In this regard, it makes sense that they would want to trade Robinson Cano. Sure enough, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that general manager Jerry Dipoto is "actively trying" to trade Cano.
Well alright, let's find him a home.
First off, Cano won't be easy to move without the Mariners eating a significant chunk of his remaining salary. Maybe they'd be willing to do it in order to keep the momentum on the rebuild going. He's owed $120 million over the next five seasons. There's zero chance he'd come close to that on the open market. He's now 36 years old and coming off a season in which he was busted for PEDs. In the 80 games he played, he hit .303/.374/.471 (136 OPS+) with 10 homers and 50 RBI. He can still swing it. Most numbers show that he's still acceptable at second base, but a move to first or DH before the end of the deal is inevitable.
We've already drastically narrowed the field here, no? Here are some teams that make at least a little sense. Please note that in every case, the Mariners would have to eat a significant portion of Cano's remaining salary and/or take back a bad contract.
|D.J. LeMahieu is a free agent, opening up second base and the Rockies don't have a long-term option at first base, either. The Rockies' biggest issue last season was the offense. Sure, we can look at them finishing second in the NL in runs, but they play half their games in Coors Field. They posted a team OPS+ of 90. As noted, Cano can still rake and I'm not expecting that to change in time for 2019.|
|Daniel Murphy is gone and Ryan Zimmerman is the first baseman. I can't see the Nationals wanting to play Howie Kendrick or Wilmer Difo at second base everyday in 2019 and -- if Bryce Harper doesn't come back -- they could handle taking on some salary. I actually like this fit, even if it seems unlikely to happen.|
|Rosenthal reports that Dipoto was in contact with the Yankees and Jacoby Ellsbury's contract could be floated back. I'm not sure how much a reunion helps the Yankees, though.|
|Rosenthal also reported the Mets were contacted by Dipoto, but this really wouldn't make sense for the roster. The rest of these are total reaches, mostly for fun.|
|Openings at second base and the non-Albert Pujols end of 1B/DH make it plausible. The Angels have been trying anything and everything to build around Mike Trout, so why not?|
|Joe Mauer's replacement! In all honesty, the Mariners would have to pay almost all the remaining money for this to even be considered and it's not happening.|
|Jed Lowrie is a free agent. Same second sentence as the Twins' entry, though.|
|Cano is an upgrade over Jonathan Schoop. Again, though, I don't think the Mariners eat enough money for this to happen.|
|Maybe the Mariners take Carlos Santana in return? The Phillies would have to do some defensive reconfiguration, but that's needed anyway.|
Just running through every roster and knowing the circumstances, I'm inclined to bet on Cano staying in Seattle. The Rockies and especially the Nationals intrigue me, though.
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