Karpin: “Amazin” Met or “Damn” Yankee

Will Robinson Cano be an “Amazin’ Met” or a “Damn Yankee.”

Cano appears ready and willing to accept the pressure that will come with his return to New York. After all, Cano can say “been there, done that,” thanks to his nine-year tenure with the Yankees, but that was the “other team.” The former All-Star may not be ready for the added pressure of being accepted by the Mets’ fan base, especially after you’ve “done time” in the Bronx.

There has not been an elite player that has come to the Mets, who was a former Yankee star. All Star players like Mike Piazza, Gary Carter, and Keith Hernandez all came to the Mets with high expectations and lived up to them, but they were not former Yankees. There were other former Yankees who came to the Mets like Curtis Granderson, Willie Randolph, Rickey Henderson and Gary Sheffield but they were not Cano.

A fast start would serve Cano well and so would a couple of early victories. The fans will be very skeptical, especially after last season’s 11-1 start, so the team, like Cano, will be coming into the 2019 season with a lot to prove.

From the Mets point of view, Edwin Diaz is the key to this trade but they had to take Cano back to make it happen. The fans realize that Cano is not the same player that he was when he was with the Yankees but they’re expecting, for at least two and maybe three seasons, that he will be a productive hitter in a Mets’ lineup that is starving for potent bats.

Even those who fully support the deal say the Mets paid a very high price by including two first round picks and getting only $20 million dollars from Seattle to pay some of Cano’s contract. Some may dismiss the young prospects that were dealt away, but many fans are not. Cano’s tenure with the Mets will not only be measured by his production but also if Justin Dunn or Jarred Kelenic do develop into productive major league players, or, dare I say it, star players. Sometimes prospects do live up to their billing.

If the Mets were willing to offer that package for Diaz and Cano, why didn’t they offer a similar package to teams that were looking to deal a catcher. The Indians are looking for outfielders and took back a minor league outfielder from the Nationals who was not rated as high as Kelenic. Getting Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak off the payroll was a plus, but did the Mets really need another second-baseman. With what Jeff McNeil showed in the latter part of last season, I think it would’ve been worth a shot to go into next season with McNeil as the starting second-baseman and use the chips to fill other needs.

What’s done is done. New GM Brodie Van Wagenen has shown that he will be aggressive this off season, which is not a bad thing for the Mets but he can’t let his approach become reckless. With this trade, the Mets have created a “window of opportunity” for themselves that, of course, will need key supplemental moves to make it all work.

Cano will have to impress the Met fans, and quickly, as he won’t get much of a “honeymoon period” at CitiField. Despite a 5-year stint in Seattle, Cano, in many Mets’ fans eyes, is still, and will always be, a Yankee.

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