Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |
With pretty much all of the details of their blockbuster trade with the Mariners now known, let's take a look at how the deal will impact the Mets' payroll in both the short and long-term...
What we know
The Mets will acquire Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, and $20 million from the Mariners in exchange for Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, and Gerson Bautista.
Cano has five years remaining on his contract, totaling $120 million, while Diaz is under team control through the 2022 season and not arbitration-eligible until the 2020 season. He will earn just above the league minimum (roughly $600,000) in 2019.
Bruce has two years remaining on his contract, totaling $26 million, while Swarzak will make $8 million in 2019 during what is the final year on his deal.
What it means for the short-term
By subtracting the contracts of Bruce and Swarzak, adding Cano, and getting $20 million back from the Mariners, the acquisition of Cano alone will add roughly $65 million to the Mets' payroll between 2019 and 2023.
As noted above, Diaz will make just above the league minimum in 2019 and will be arbitration-eligible for the first time before the 2020 season, when he should be in line for a large raise -- with raises also likely in 2021 and 2022 if he remains healthy and effective.
If the money the Mariners sent is applied at least partially by the Mets for 2019, it will mean New York has lowered its immediate payroll, setting them up to have more flexibility this offseason when it comes to adding more players via trade and/or free agency.
In 2020, whatever the Mets pay Cano will be offset in a big way by not having to pay Bruce the $13 million he would have been owed.
What it means for the long-term
When looking at a trade like this that has so many moving parts, it's important to not simply look at what Cano will be owed from 2021 to 2023. You also need to look at what the Mets have in payroll obligations beyond the 2019 season.
A look at Cot's Baseball Contracts shows that the Mets have $58 million committed to payroll for expected 25-man roster players in 2020. In 2021 and beyond, aside from whatever the breakdown on Cano is, the Mets have literally zero dollars committed to the 25-man roster. That should be viewed as a huge positive since it means the team is not bogged down at all and will have close to maximum flexibility.
While the Mets don't have major payroll obligations beyond the 2020 season aside from what they owe Cano, there could be plenty of players they want to retain via arbitration. Those players include Diaz, Noah Syndergaard, Michael Conforto, Steven Matz, Brandon Nimmo, and Amed Rosario.
There is also the question of Jacob deGrom, who will be a free agent after the 2020 season unless the Mets sign him to an extension before then.
In the end, though, Brodie Van Wagenen and his staff -- who are expected to remain "aggressive" this offseason as they reshape the team -- are currently working with what is pretty much a blank slate when it comes to payroll obligations in 2021 and beyond.
The above means that it's much easier to absorb whatever the team will officially pay Cano from 2021 to 2023, and means the team should have an enormous amount of flexibility when it comes to building the team in the short and long-term.