In December 2018, the New York Mets made one of the most shocking trades in MLB at the time.
The Mets sent uber-prospect Jarred Kelenic, pitching prospect Justin Dunn, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak and Gerson Bautista to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Robinson Cano and reliever Edwin Diaz.
Kelenic was a consensus top-20 prospect at the time, and Dunn was very highly regarded.
While Diaz was, and still is, a top closer, Cano was a declining asset in his late-thirties and with a mammoth contract.
He was recently released and looked done in his brief time with the Mets in 2022.
Kelenic, on the other hand, developed nicely in the minor leagues, but so far has failed to perform at the MLB level.
Heyman Doesn’t Think Like Most People In This Case
The trade was universally seen as a win for the Mariners because it netted them a top prospect in the game, plus other good pieces, but an MLB insider disagrees with the general consensus.
“Mets won the Kelenic-Cano-Diaz trade. There I said it. Mets got 3.6 WAR and a closer, M’s -0.2 WAR and .173 hitting young OF. Don’t @ me,” Jon Heyman tweeted.
Mets won the Kelenic-Cano-Diaz trade. There I said it. Mets got 3.6 WAR and a closer, M’s -0.2 WAR and .173 hitting young OF. Don’t @ me. https://t.co/DH3rvqX2YG
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) May 13, 2022
That short text broke Twitter and prompted tons of replies.
It’s certainly a fair way to see it, since Kelenic has produced a poor .594 OPS in 473 plate appearances in the majors.
But even if his struggles are certainly frustrating, we can’t let the fact that he is still 22 years old go unnoticed.
Prospects struggle, especially someone who is barely old enough to drink.
He still has lots of plate appearances to learn how to handle MLB pitching.
The Mariners will need to be patient with him, though.
The jury is still out on the trade, and will largely depend on Kelenic’s development.