Robinson Cano DFA But Is He Done With Mets?
There were two things which became very clear Sunday Night. First, with Dominic Smith going 4-for-4, there was no way the New York Mets could option him to Triple-A Syracuse after that performance. It was just a testament to the fact he needed to play everyday.
With Francisco Lindor being miked up for the game, it also became clear Robinson Cano was a very loved and respected player in that Mets clubhouse. Apparently, his two PED suspensions did nothing to change that.
More than anything, that is what made this easy decision all the more difficult. The Mets players wanted Cano there. They believed in him. Despite that, and despite the $40.5 million still owed to him, the Mets really had no other choice but to designate Cano for assignment due to the rosters shrinking.
Really, the Mets had no other choice. For Cano, he can’t run, and he doesn’t have his bat speed. Sure, he hit a homer, but his exit velocities were lower than Luis Guillorme, who is a slap hitter and stellar defender. There’s just no room for a player like that on the Mets right now.
In some ways, Cano is a victim of the Mets success here (using the term victim very lightly here). The Mets are a very good team and a true World Series contender. They need to be focused on winning over trying to extract the most out of their investment. Another note here is if not for the lockout, this decision may never be made. If it was a 26 man roster out of Spring Training, in all likelihood, Travis Jankowski starts the year in Syracuse with Cano lingering on the roster.
That said, you have to remember Cano was out of baseball for a year. After 2020, you had to imagine there was more in the tank than what we saw so far in 2022. There’s a real chance he still needs some time to get up to game speed, and with that the bat speed will come. It’s just that the Mets were not in a position to be the team to give him the playing time for that to happen.
With the DFA, the Mets are not precluded from assigning him to Syracuse. Obviously, the Mets are going to get that chance because there is no chance whatsoever anyone claims Cano. After all, Brodie Van Wagnenen is out of baseball.
So for Cano, the question is whether he’s wiling to go to Syracuse. To some extent, it makes sense for the Mets. If Cano really is the proven veteran leader he’s made out to be, he can be a good influence on players like Khalil Lee, Nick Plummer, and Mark Vientos. Cano can also get to hit. If he doesn’t, that could put him in position to get called back up to help the Mets, especially in the event of an injury.
If he doesn’t, well, now we all know it will never happen again, and the Mets can finally cut him loose for good knowing they did all they could do.
As for other teams, who is going to come calling? There might’ve been a small chance with the Miami Marlins, but it’s doubtful with Cano’s teammate Derek Jeter out with the Marlins. As of the other 28 teams, who is taking that chance? Remember, this isn’t an Albert Pujols situation. Pujols could still hit left-handed pitching extremely well.
Right now, Cano does nothing well. If he wants to prove he still has it, he has to go to the minors with the Mets being the best chance. Of course,. that is if the Mets want to do that instead of just moving on from this error, sorry era. At this point, you can’t blame them. Still, for whatever reason, you have to believe Cano may just have one more shot before his career is officially done.