Robinson Cano’s time with the Mets keeps getting worse. The second baseman received a 162-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, the commissioner’s office announced
Robinson Cano’s time with the Mets keeps getting worse.
The second baseman received a 162-game suspension for testing positive for a banned substance, the commissioner’s office announced Wednesday.
Cano tested positive for Stanozolol and will forfeit his $24 million salary for next season. Cano will still have two years and $48 million remaining on his contract after the ban.
The 38-year-old Cano was previously suspended for 80 games for violating MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program in 2018, when he tested positive for a diuretic.
In a statement released Wednesday, new team president Sandy Alderson said the Mets “were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance enhancing substances from the game.”
The news came just over a week after Steve Cohen’s purchase of the team became official, which led to the ouster of former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen.
It was Van Wagenen, Cano’s former agent at CAA, who not long after getting the Mets GM job in 2018 acquired Cano and Edwin Diaz from Seattle in a disastrous move that cost the Mets a pair of top prospects, Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn.
Cano had an unproductive first season in Queens in 2019 before rebounding last season, when he hit 10 homers and had an OPS of .896 in 49 games.
The loss of Cano will save the Mets more than $20 million next season, since Seattle was due to pay $3.75 million of the contract.
And it certainly alters their offseason outlook.
Cohen and his billions were already expected to make an impact on the market, and the absence of Cano and his money opens up other options for the Mets.
DJ LeMahieu remains available as a free agent, and with Cano not clogging up second base — at least occasionally — the 32-year-old could fit in.
The Mets could also use Jeff McNeil at second and put J.D. Davis at third, but as Alderson puts together a front office, there are a number of different possibilities.
Either way, it’s another strike against the trade that brought Cano to the Mets and another blow to Cano’s reputation.
Cano seemed on a path perhaps destined for Cooperstown. He spent his first nine seasons in the majors with the Yankees and was an All-Star five times before signing a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Mariners prior to the 2014 season.
He was an All-Star in three of his first four years in Seattle before being hit with the half-season suspension in May 2018.
After that season, Van Wagenen was hired to be the Mets’ GM, and one of his first moves was to swing a trade for his former client.
Following the transaction, then-Mets COO Jeff Wilpon said, “I don’t think [Cano] is a drug cheat. I could be proven wrong, but I don’t think he’s a drug cheat.”
Two years later, the Mets have their answer.