By Joe Rini
The New York Mets designated Robinson Cano for assignment this morning. In the end, it came down to numbers. First, mandatory roster cuts for teams to get down to 26 players loomed by Noon on May 2nd. The 39-year-old Cano missed the 2021 season with his second PED suspension. He played well in winter ball and had a decent spring training in 2022. However, his offensive numbers so far in 2022 were meager. Slashing a meager.195/.233/.268, with a noticeable decline in bat speed, Cano became expendable. Perhaps the biggest number in the Cano saga is the reported $48 million the Mets will owe him over the next two years to either watch games on TV or play for someone else. However, the Mets will eat that salary in their attempt to get the best 26 players on the roster.
Cano Acquired by Mets Before 2019 Season
Cano was acquired by then-new GM and former Cano agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, in a blockbuster trade in December 2018. At first, he struggled with the Mets. Shadowed by his first PED suspension in 2018, Cano lagged in an injury-plagued 2019, slashing .256/.307/.428. A second PED suspension marred his apparent bounce-back season in 2020.
Highly regarded by his teammates, Cano will be missed more in the clubhouse than on the field. A career .302 hitter, induction into the Hall of Fame seemed to be Cano’s destination until 2018. However, two PED suspensions later, his future induction is bleak, to say the least. Rather than a Hall of Fame plaque, “Cano designated for assignment” could be his baseball epitaph. It will be very interesting to see what happens to Cano going forward. There aren’t many teams that would want the publicity that comes from having him on their roster. Time will tell if he signs with another team, or if he decides to stay put for the time being.