Spare Parts: A Mets-Mariners mega-match

(Keith Allison / Flickr)

Man, the Mets and Mariners are going through a lot of work to move Anthony Swarzak.

A megadeal is lumbering toward a finish line, although I suppose there are enough variables to where it could fall apart or melt into a smaller form. But as far as I can tell, here’s the most recent version:

Mets get:

  • Robinson Cano
  • Edwin Diaz
  • An undetermined amount of money

Mariners get:

  • Anthony Swarzak
  • Jay Bruce
  • Jarred Kelenic
  • Justin Dunn
  • Maybe one more prospect

I kinda like the deal for both teams on its face, although for the Mets’ side to work, they can’t acquire Cano and let him hamstring their plans to add. They actually have to act like they’re a New York team and can afford to spend around aging-but-productive baseball celebrities, rather than turning around and trading Noah Syndergaard to replace their prospects. The Wilpons are doubted for many, many reasons.

Kelenic and Dunn are maybe a light — or at least far away — return for a valuable closer in Diaz, but the original Cano deal means they have the means to splurge, and it’ll be easier without a second baseman under contract at $24 million through his age-40 season.

At any rate, this deal, and not today’s no-tender deadline, will probably take up most of the baseball brain space today.

Spare Parts

At six years, Todd Steverson is the second-most tenured hitting coach, one year behind Cleveland’s Ty Van Burkleo. He probably should’ve been fired given the normal shelf life and the White Sox’ lack of success, but having written about three hitting coaches over my time covering the White Sox and seeing no detectable difference between them, the topic no longer generates strong feelings in me, unless he’s doing something demonstrably wrong to derail a prospect. Seeing Chili Davis come and go with the Cubs in a year suggests the smart teams don’t really have a firm idea what they’re doing in this realm, either.

Anyway, Tom Verducci says that might be changing as technology and data on the hitting side starts to catch up to the advantages pitchers have in this strikeout-heavy era. Launch angle was a start, in that it better maximized the contact made, but now the swinging and missing needs to be rectified. In order to combat both, teams are turning to younger guys who more resemble swing coaches in golf.

Indeed, James Fegan does take a White Sox prospect list all the way to Casey Gillaspie. Technically, the last name listed is Josue Guerrero. If you’re wondering what kind of list it takes to include both, it’s a Top 96.

Zack Greinke has a 15-team no-trade list, but the White Sox aren’t on it, in case you were wondering.

The talking points about Zack Collins’ hit tool and strikeouts remain the same:

“Offensively, it’s kind of what we knew: He’s going to take a bunch of walks, he’s going to get on base, he’s going to have some power,” White Sox director of amateur scouting Nick Hostetler said of Collins, who added 15 home runs and 68 RBIs to his 2018 resume. “He makes contact, good hard contact, and he’s a guy that I still believe from a scouting point of view, he’s a guy that as he goes to a higher level when the strike zone tightens up, he’s going to be better.

“You don’t want a guy in the lower level that shows patience and the ability to judge the strike zone well — you don’t want him to compromise that because of umpires or bad calls at the Double-A level. As he goes through the system, I think you are going to see, as he gets to Triple-A and the Major Leagues as the strike zone shrinks, he’s going to be better off offensively.”

2080 Baseball released a bunch of refreshed scouting reports from the Arizona Fall League, including one for Luis Robert. The summary:

Raw and extremely athletic player w/ high ceiling. Could be a top regular and occasional all-star in the best-case scenario, able to contribute with all five tools. Rawness of approach and questions about how much he’ll hit create extreme risk. Will bring defensive value in CF; has the athleticism, batspeed, and hand-looseness to make swing adjustments and unlock impact offensive production.

And speaking of prospects …

Vox Media made a number of cuts to SB Nation’s baseball operation, including John Sickels at Minor League Ball. He’s probably a lot of people’s gateway to prospect coverage, considering Baseball America required a print subscription during his ESPN days.

At any rate, thank you for your support of Sox Machine.


  • Jim Margalus

    Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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I actually don’t know what the Mets are doing. They’ve done this before, start the winter with a bang and then sit the rest out. They go on to win an unimpressive 82 games or something. Meh.


LOL Mets is what the Mets are doing. Sandy Alderson brought a degree of sanity to their front office. In his absence, the nuttiness of the McIlvaine/Phillips/Duquette/Minaya years (tl:dr, Wilpons) will resume.


John Sickels on the move again. I wish him well.

As Cirensica

Always enjoyed his writings. Maybe he will end up in The Athletic where everyone seems to end up.

I cut ties with ESPN recently as I realized I was a paid subscriber only to read Keith Law, and now I am considering joining The Athletic as they have a lot a good writers there. I like Fegan’s writing style, and I believe Jim runs an article once in a while there. So, lots of good reasons

Greg Nix

The Athletic is great. Definitely worth the price. And they should absolutely scoop up Sickels, as their prospect coverage is one of the few subpar areas.

Minor League Ball was one of the few SB Nation sites I still semi-regularly visited. The breadth of Sickels and Co.’s coverage was matched only by paid sites like BA. He also wrote very candidly about delicate topics like sexual assault and concussion recovery. It definitely will be missed.


What a trade!

Totally agree, the mets make this move, they need to keep spending and if they do… with the anticipation of the phils going on a spending spree and the braves an up and coming team…. and the nats still being pretty solid that is quite a division

Patrick Nolan





Can finally breath a sigh of relief. God knows where we would have found someone with the versatility to produce at a below replacement level at so many positions.


Omar Narvaez for Alex Colome?




Making room for Realmuto.


Would Basabe, Collins and Dunning be enough to get Realmuto?


probably not

As Cirensica

Marlins asking price for Realmuto is dos Realmutos


I know there’s no real stud in there, but it’s three solid prospects. I’d hate to offer Robert, or Madrigal, and certainly not Cease.


and the Marlins can get much better than that elsewhere…


miami already turned down victor robles for realmuto


Yeah, I think you’re right, but I would not give them Robert or Cease, and I’m sure that’s who they’ll want.

karkovice squad

He has less value left on his contract now than when they did that.


The bullpen is loaded with young guns. Maybe now they’ll sign Grandal.


Sure looks like they plan on signing (or trading for) someone. Grandal would work for me.


Love to trade for a $7 million reliever. Guess having 40 relievers in the pipeline wasn’t enough for Hahn.


Seems similar to the Soria trade except Narvaez was a bit more useful than Jake Peter.


Yeah probably. I would have imagine another good half season from Narvaez would be more flippable at this year’s deadline than another good half year from Colome though.


The way teams were using relievers in the post season seems to dispute that opinion.

As Cirensica

You lost me at “post season”


Yeah, I also misremembered just how awful Narvaez’s defense is.

lil jimmy

according to you. Narvaez was like Sharps beer.

As Cirensica

Love this if we will sign Grandal….let Smith go, trade Narvaez…Hahn is gonna sign/trade/get a catcher. That’s for sure, and I am somehow terrified.


Carlos Rodon just got a whole lot better. Trading Narvaez was a Boras demand to get an audience with Harper.

As Cirensica

Trading Narvaez was a Boras demand to get an audience with Harper.

And you know that because you are Boras’ cousin?



lil jimmy

Not Boris.
Natasha Fatale.


They probably think they’re selling high on Narvaez. Might be true really.


Yep. I think it’s a good move. Load up that bullpen.


The top 4 OPS+ players from 2018 are all gone (if you don’t care about sample size).


Matt Skole resigned the other day


At first I’m like, yeah. And then I’m like, you mean re-signed.


I’m not sorry to see Narvaez go, but… of players currently projected to be on the Sox Opening Day roster, the best ’18 BB/K ratio belongs to Yolmer Sanchez at 0.36. That is… not good.


I don’t think anyone had that as part of their offseason plan.