Mariners Still Resoundingly Won Trade Even With Jarred Kelenic’s Struggles
Honestly, everyone thought Jarred Kelenic was a no-doubt future star. At a minimum, his floor was solid regular. So far, it just hasn’t happened. In fact, Kelenic looks like one of the worst players in baseball.
Through 97 career games, he has a -1.8 WAR. He has a 70 wRC+ and -2 OAA. The future five tool center fielder is a poor hitter not playing all that great defense in left field. Breaking it down, it is hard to find something positive with his career up to this point.
Of course, he’s a 22 year old player who is allowed to struggle. There are countless examples in Major League history. If you’ve ever heard a New York Mets broadcast, you’ll hear Keith Hernandez talk about struggling when he was first called up and getting sent back down was the best thing that ever happened to him.
Keep in mind, Hernandez won an MVP, was part of two World Series champions, is in the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame, will have his number retired by the Mets, and he will one day be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Case-in-point, early career struggles from a player in his early 20s is far from dispositive on how his entire career pans out.
For some reason, people seem to want to take Kelenic’s struggles and want to play revisionist history on the Robinson Cano trade. That’s just ridiculous.
As noted, Kelenic’s career is far from over and treating it so it plain dumb. More than that, Kelenic’s value at the time was through the roof. The Mets literally could’ve gotten anyone they wanted had it been known he was available in trades. Because Cano was his former client, Brodie Van Wagenen opted to pursue him.
Keep in mind, the Mets return on this trade has been pretty lousy.
With respect to Cano, he has a had a 1.7 WAR< 107 wRC+, 3 OAA, and a season long PED suspension. More to the point, Cano was supposed to be a key piece of a win now Mets team in 2019. Instead, he had by far the worst season of his career. When you break it all down, he has done NOTHING to help this Mets team be a contender.
It’s worse than that. Cano displaced Jeff McNeil from his natural position. Now, he has a manager in Buck Showalter who is giving Cano playing time over players like Luis Guillorme and Dominic Smith. It’s ridiculous, but it is what happens when you are paying a player $20.25 million through his age 40 season.
With respect to Edwin Diaz, he was one of the bigger reasons the Mets missed that 2019 postseason. Like Cano, he had by far the worst year of his career with a 74 ERA+ and a 4.51 FIP. In that season, he blew seven saves and took the loss in seven games. The Mets missed the Wild Card by three games. Diaz has been good since then even if he’s had the propensity for blown saves.
Really, that 2019 team probably makes the postseason if that trade was never made. The Mets as a franchise would’ve been far better off because they wouldn’t have Cano eating up a roster spot and a significant chunk of payroll. Really, when you break it down, it is complete and utter tomfoolery to suggest the trade doesn’t look as bad because a 22 year old outfielder needs more time.
Overall, this trade was a disaster for the Mets and will continue being one. If you don’t believe that, you’re lying to yourself.