The New York Mets had to bring their roster down to 26 players on Monday, just like every other MLB franchise. Many teams opted to demote prospects for the most part, but there was a difficult decision to make in Queens.
The 39-year-old Robinson Cano failed to get going at the plate: in 43 plate appearances, he slashed .195/.233/.268 with a homer and a 54 wRC+. He is owed roughly $37.5 million through next year, but the Mets are on the hook for that money either way.
General manager Billy Eppler told owner Steve Cohen that the baseball operations department’s recommendation would be designating Cano for assignment. Of course, it would mean they need to pay someone who isn’t even playing for the Mets.
Cohen, according to MLB.com, processed the information and told his GM: “Make the baseball decision.”
The Mets kept more deserving players
That’s what happened: the Mets designated Cano for assignment, and he was immediately removed from the 40-man roster.
DFA’ing Cano means that more deserving players like Dom Smith, Luis Guillorme, JD Davis, and Travis Jankowski get to remain in the roster.
“You couldn’t ask for a better support than Steve’s given us,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “You can tell how much he loves the Mets and the fans. He trusts the decisions being made.”
Cano was a beloved figure in the Mets’ clubhouse. “Especially Robbie Canó — he’s been around for so long in this game,” Davis said. “He’s been an icon here in New York. And he’s been a centerpiece in this clubhouse. He’s been a leader. To lose him definitely takes a little bit of wind out of our sails.”
It wasn’t an easy decision for Eppler. “I’m sure he’s somebody that five years, 10 years from now, I’m going to run into him on the island, or run into him in Florida or New York or somewhere, and we’ll share in some good memories together,” Eppler said. “But last night wasn’t one of them.”
He will be free to sign with any team in the upcoming days.