Calm down; it was just one game. (It was a damn good one, though.)
In December 2018, the Seattle Mariners executed a trade with the New York Mets, sending over Edwin Díaz and Robinson Cano in exchange for Gerson Bautista, Jay Bruce, Anthony Swarzak, Justin Dunn, and Jarred Kelenic. Kelenic was the big get for the Mariners. The outfielder was the Mets first-round pick from 2018, selected sixth overall in the MLB Draft, and was expected to have a relatively quick path through the minors with the help of his exceptional hitting.
Last night, we saw the start of that in the Major Leagues.
Kelenic actually made his MLB debut before last night, going 0-for-4 at the plate in a 4-2 loss to Cleveland. But on Friday, he reminded Met fans of what happened when Jeff Kent, Justin Turner, and Melvin Mora left for other teams … except Kelenic is just 21, whereas those guys were deeper into their careers. On Friday, Kelenic went 3-for-4, including his first career home run, which went 403-feet into right-center after jumping off his bat at nearly 110 miles per hour.
On the game, he also had three doubles, three RBIs, and two runs scored, joining elite company.
“I want to bury our opponents each and every night,” Kelenic said via MLB.com. “And what really bugs me is when I give away at-bats, or if I don’t execute on what I’m trying to do, just because, like what I just said, I want to win.”
In 2019, through his stay with two different ‘A’ ball teams, as well as the Mariners ‘AA’ affiliate, Kelenic slugged 31 doubles and 23 home runs, bringing in 68 RBIs, stealing 20 bases, and hitting a .291/.364/.540 slash. It was his most recent form of play prior to this season due to the minor leagues being suspended last season because of COVID-19.
Elsewhere in the deal, Bruce just retired, Bautista was released in March and now plays in Mexico, Dunn has been a productive starter, and Swarzak’s been getting rocked this season. For the Mets, Cano is suspended without pay for the season, which is actually a favor to the organization, if we’re being honest. All eyes are on Díaz, who had a terrible 2019 but has rebounded ever since into becoming a quality reliever; he just hasn’t been quite the star (yet) that he was upon arrival. His bad moments are also really memorable.
His entrance theme, Narco by Blasterjaxx Timmy Trumpet, is as good as any closer since Mariano Rivera’s Enter Sandman days, though.
It’s overstated how much the Mets have “lost” the trade, because, at 27, Díaz could still salvage the deal if he helps the team win significantly as they’re seemingly poised to do so. But if Kelenic is going to continue to do this — and, for now, at age 21 —Díaz is gonna have to be damn good for those discussions to dwindle down.
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