How can Mariners trade Robinson Canó? MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger says it will cost them
It’s a new week, which means there’s a new big rumor about the Seattle Mariners and one of the players they may be looking to trade away this offseason.
Mike Zunino and James Paxton have already been assigned new addresses, and the rumor mill suggests that the Mariners have talked to the Yankees and Mets about sending Robinson Canó back to the Big Apple. Of course, Canó carries a huge contract, just turned 36 and is coming off missing half of 2018 due to a suspension for a failed drug test, so unloading him is no easy task.
Just what might it take to get another team to take Canó off the Mariners’ hands? Well, it would probably cost them, as Greg Amsinger of the MLB Network told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Groz and Tom on Tuesday.
Amsinger said his colleague at the MLB Network, former Colorado Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd, isn’t off-base with his sketch of how a Mariners-Mets trade involving Canó might look – down to the inclusion of a young All-Star like Edwin Díaz or Mitch Haniger.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 27, 2018
“I agree with my friend Dan O’Dowd,” Amsinger said. “If you really want to move the contract of Robinson Canó, if you really expect people to take on that much money, still over $100 million left, you gotta throw these guys (Díaz or Haniger) in the deal. If you’re worried about the money, then you don’t care about the on-field performance. Who cares? If you’re gonna rebuild, then Mitch Haniger’s gonna have one year left of (team) control by the time you’re ready to compete again.
“I think Haniger and/or Diaz have to be packaged with Robinson Canó to move that money, and I do believe one of those two players will be sent off with Robbie to wherever he ends up.”
Not that Amsinger would do that himself. He said he isn’t keen on the Mariners taking a step back after winning 89 games in 2018, but since they are, he suggested Seattle should be ready to trade valuable players like Haniger and Díaz to make the most of the rebuild – whether they’re packaged with Canó or not.
To make his point, Amsinger used the example of what the Kansas City Royals did prior to the 2011. The Royals traded 2009 Cy Young Award winner Zack Greinke (then 27 years old) to the Milwaukee Brewers, which helped them add several pieces of their 2015 World Series championship team, including outfielder Lorenzo Cain and shortstop Alcides Escobar, as well as pitcher Jake Odorizzi, who was later included along with top prospect Wil Myers in a separate trade that brought starter James Shields and closer Wade Davis to the Royals from Tampa Bay.
“This was a cornerstone trade for the Royals, kind of put the core of that championship run together,” Amsinger said. “You have assets, you have to trade and cash in.”
Amsinger also discussed Félix Hernández’s future with the Mariners, including why he thinks Hernández could still be an effective starter, in the interview on Bob, Groz and Tom. You can hear the full segment at this link or in the embedded audio player.