New York Mets: Robinson Cano Homers Twice in First DR League Game

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

Suspended New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano made a return to competitive baseball with a bang. Cano joined the Estrellas Orientales in the Dominican Winter League and hit two home runs in his first game. Steroids or not, the sweet Cano swing never gets old.

Both homers were hit with the same ferociousness we saw throughout Cano’s PED filled 2020 season. At 38-years old, the worst thing for Cano is spending time on the sidelines, collecting dust. His first in-game at-bats since late September showed no such rust. Cano was a force in the middle of the lineup for the four seed Estrellas.

The competition is not quite at the MLB level but turning around two home runs is still an impressive feat. The Estrellas took game one of their playoff series 8-4 and put themselves in a good spot with Cano joining Fernando Tatis Jr. in the same lineup.

Whether the handful of games Cano plays means anything for his baseball future, positive results are always helpful. Cano will likely hold down the three spot and DH again during the second game of their series on Monday. If the homers continue, the question will be, is he still juiced?

New York Mets: Robinson Cano To Play For Dominican Winter League

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano will not play any competitive baseball for the 2021 New York Mets due to his second positive PED test. The season-long suspension cannot keep the 38-year old on the sidelines as Cano is joining the Dominican Winter League’s Estrellas Orientales.

Cano joins the team right as the playoffs start and will share the middle infield with Fernando Tatis Jr. He spent time with the Estrellas from 2006-2008, when he was still making a name for himself, then did a one-game stint in 2016. The games he plays in DR will be the only legitimate competition he can join until the 2021 offseason.

Even though the Mets received a “get out of jail for free” card for 2021, the Mets are stuck with him for 2022 and 2023. When Cano returns, he will likely get the same treatment Yoenis Cespedes got after his long absence. He will enter a clubhouse and organization that has moved on and put him in a bench player role.

No matter what the Mets’ situation becomes, the possibility of Cano’s final games coming in meaningless winter league games is on the table. Cano’s has lost all hall of fame candidacy, and his positive tests will linger with him for the rest of his career. Success will be attributed to PED use, and failure would be due to the lack of illegal help in his body. Cano stepping on a major league diamond again will be for the large paycheck.

The New York Yankees were right to let Robinson Cano walk all along

On Wednesday, the MLB announced that Robinson Cano of the New York Mets has been suspended 162 games for use of PEDs, his second violation. The suspension will likely assure that Cano will never make the Hall of Fame, forever tinting his legacy.

Cano’s stellar career began with the New York Yankees in 2005, finishing second in Rookie of the Year voting. His nine-year tenure with the Bronx Bombers saw five all-star selections and four top-10 finishes in MVP voting.

However, after the 2013 season, the Yankees would let Cano walk in free agency. He’d accept a 10-year, $240 million contract over a 7-year, $175 million offer from the Yankees.

As disappointing as it was to lose Cano to the Mariners at the time, the Yankees wound up being right about letting him walk.

Cano would have four solid seasons with the Mariners before seeing an 80-game suspension derail his 2018 season. That off-season, Cano was dealt to the Mets where he’d see the 2019 season be the worst of his career. Cano bat just .256 while only playing in 107 games.

In the shortened 2020 season, Cano seemed to be getting his career back on track. Hitting .316 in the COVID-19 shortened season, Cano hit 10 home runs and drove in 30 with an OPS of nearly .900.

Cano’s 2021 suspension might end up being it for the smooth-swinging second-baseman. He’ll be 39 once reinstated, and with the Mets under new ownership, Steve Cohen could permanently replace Cano with young-guns. We’ll see what Cohen has in store, but the future doesn’t look good for Robinson Cano.

Despite having some good seasons with the Mariners, the Yankees were smart to let him walk. They would’ve had to deal with suspensions and a guy who isn’t know to have the most hustle in the world. Once again, Yankees’ GM Brian Cashman has proven why he’s one of the smartest men in baseball.

New York Mets’ Robinson Cano can say goodbye to the Hall of Fame now

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano, to this point, has had a truly amazing career. He won the 2009 World Series as a key contributor for the New York Yankees, he left as a free agent to sign with the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2014 season, and two years upon arriving there, he hit 39 homers, a career-high. He then went to the New York Mets in a controversial trade in which general manager Brodie Van Wagenen flipped blue-chip prospect Jarred Kelenic and others for him and Edwin Diaz. And, at 37 years old, he produced a .316/.352/.544 season in 2020.

Yet, he can probably say goodbye to the Hall of Fame now that he was caught using performance-enhancing drugs for the second time on Wednesday. The first infraction came in May 2018, and he missed 80 games while he was with the Mariners.

This second suspension will cost him 162 games with the Mets, $24 million, and a chance to enter immortality once he hangs up his cleats. Pretty expensive, huh?

Why do I say Cano was on his way to Cooperstown? He wasn’t going to be an automatic entry, but his chances would have been great had he not been suspended two times for PEDs use.

For his career, he has slashed .303/.352/.492 with a .360 wOBA and a 125 wRC+. He has accumulated 58.6 fWAR in his 16-year tenure in the bigs, His peak was very, very good and lasted from 2010 to 2016. Over that span, he averaged 5.6fWAR per season.

The Mets’ slugger had the numbers and accolades, but…

He has the accolades. The New York Mets’ second sacker is an eight-time All-Star (2006, 2010–2014, 2016, 2017) a World Series champion (2009) a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner (2006, 2010–2013), and a two-time Gold Glove Award winner (2010, 2012.)

After the first suspension, his HOF chances took a substantial hit, but they weren’t dead. But now, how can a writer justify voting for a player that tried to cheat the system and was caught two times in the span of two years?

And to think he had said: “I would never do anything to cheat the rules of the game I love,” back in May 2018 when he was caught the first time. The Mets are now left scrambling for solutions at second base, but they have some.
What appears beyond repair is Cano’s reputation.

New York Mets have several options to replace Robinson Cano: Here are some of them

The New York Mets were hit with some news on Wednesday afternoon. Their starting second baseman and occasional designated hitter Robinson Cano received a second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, this time, for 162 games.

That means Cano, who was scheduled to make $24 million in 2021, will receive none of that. Whether the news is good or bad depends on how you viewed Cano’s prospects to contribute in 2021. He had an amazing year in 2020 (.316/.352/.544, 10 HR, .376 wOBA, 141 wRC+) but the sample size was short. At 38 years old, banking on a repeat on next campaign was not a given.

This means that the New York Mets won’t pay Cano’s salary in 2021 and they gain an extra $24 million to play with this offseason, as they hunt starting pitching, bullpen depth, a catcher, and maybe one outfielder. Maybe the situation isn’t as bleak as you think.

One thing working in favor of the Mets is the fact that they have several internal options to plug in second base. Here is Anthony DiComo’s take on the matter. DiComo is the Mets’ beat writer for MLB.com.

Here’s what the Mets can do

“Some possibilities for the Mets following Canó’s suspension: Move McNeil to second, sign Springer/JBJ to play center, shift Nimmo to left,” he tweeted. This alternative implies signing another star (Springer) and moving around some pieces, but it’s very enticing.

“Move McNeil to second, sign Ozuna to play left:” The defense would suffer, but the Mets’ lineup would be a pain for any opposing pitcher.

“Sign LeMahieu to play second.” This one may sting on Yankees’ fans, but it is a real possibility and it wouldn’t require to move pieces around the diamond. DJLM would be a plug-and-play replacement for Cano.

Lastly, DiComo suggests using Andrés Giménez at second. He’s a natural shortstop, and a good one at that. He shouldn’t have any problems making the transition.

The Mets, as you can see, have several paths to improve the roster even with Cano’s absence for the 2021 campaign. Which path will they choose?

New York Yankees News/Rumors: The Yankees may now have to grossly overpay for DJ LeMahieu, find out why

New York Yankees, DJ LeMahieu

Yesterday was not a good day for the New York Yankees or the New York Met’s Robinson Cano. Cano was suspended for the entire 2021 season after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug (PED). When a crosstown team loses its star second baseman, at first glance, it might seem like a panacea for the Yankees, but in fact, it is a turn of events that are the opposite for the Yankees.

The New York Mets are a different team today than just weeks ago. The Met’s have a new owner, Steve Cohen, a billionaire with some, say, unlimited funds, and will be willing to spend a large chunk of that wealth on making the Mets the premium team in New York City. He will be a major contender for baseball talent. Unfortunately for the New York Yankees, the Met’s second baseman’s loss puts the Yankee free-agent second baseman DJ LeMahieu front and center for a bidding battle for his services.

There is no question that LeMahieu is the number one second baseman on the free-agent market by far. LeMahieu, for the second year in a row, is a Silver Slugger and won the batting title for the 2020 season, hitting .364 with an excellent ball to strikeout ratio. He had 10 homers and 27 RBIs. He had a 1.011 OPS and a .590 slugging percentage. The Yankees star has been everything the Yankees could have wanted and more, and now they will have to battle to keep him in pinstripes.

The Met’s Robinson Cano tests positive for PED’s

New York Mets second baseman  Robinson Cano has tested positive for PED’s namely Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug, as announced by MLB yesterday. The banned substance use is Cano’s second infraction for the use of PED’s. He was caught using PED’s back in 2018. Being caught a second time has led to him being banned from baseball for the entire 2021 baseball season. His first stint was for 80 days. Apparently, Cano did not learn his lesson. Cano was a New York Yankee for nine years between 2005 to 2013 before going to the Seattle Mariners and finally the New York Mets in 2019. Cano is not the player he was for the Yankees, but the loss will surely cause the Met’s owner to try to get an upgrade.

This is the official statement from the Mets regarding the suspension of Robinson Cano.

“We 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.”

Cohen’s first step to make the Mets THE New York team

Several close to Steve Cohen say the billionaire who’s wealth is reportedly at $14.6 billion from his ownership of Point72 asset management company, doesn’t care if he makes money off the team; his sole goal is to make the New York Mets the team in New York City. This is awful news for Hal Steinbrenner and the Steinbrenner family as they are business people who want to profit from the team, not put their own money into it.

Hal Steinbrenner has already announced that he wanted the New York Yankees to stay under the baseball luxury tax threshold of $210 million. With so many needs, especially in repairing the starting pitching, that will be hard to do, and now with a looming financial battle, that may be impossible. There is no question that this new wrinkle has to please DJ LeMahieu, who may now be emboldened in his quest for more money and financial security in the future.

Hal Steinbrenner is reportedly worth only $1.2 billion; the family has a net worth as of 2015 at $3.8 billion. It’s actually hard to ascertain exactly how much they are worth because of their involvement with Legends Hospitality, the YES network, and other sport-related activities. What is clear is that the family is far in the shadows of the massively wealthy Steven Cohen. Hal is not his father, George M. Steinbrenner, who was not afraid to use his own money to make the New York Yankees the premier baseball team. It should be noted that Hal and his family do not own the Yankees they own the controlling share of 55%.

Will a bidding war erupt over DJ LeMahieu?

Hal Steinbrenner has to be sitting in his office trying to decide if he will meet Steve Cohen’s challenge or if he is going to continue to milk the cow for profits; fans are damned. Until he makes that decision, fans will be waiting to see if he wants to bring the team back to the greatness it has so sorely missed since its last World Series Championship eleven years ago.

Whatever he decides, DJ LeMahieu is the winner in this situation. This was an offseason that was supposed to be sparse for free agents, which has changed somewhat for LeMahieu. The Yankees gave their only qualifying of $18.9 million to DJ. He refused that offer, probably not so much because of the money offered but because the contract was for only one year. DJ, at 32, has made it clear that he would like a contract that will give him security going into the last years of his career.

The experts that know feel that LeMahieu will want something in the $20 million per year area and for a period of four years. If a bidding war between Cohen and Steinbrenner erupts, that amount and contract length could increase to the point that Hal will be willing to let DJ walk and hope that general manager Brian Cashman can work his magic in replacing him.

 

Robinson Cano Suspended For 2021 Season After Positive PED Result

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

In a year where COVID-19 was the only positive test result sweeping through baseball, Robinson Cano turned back the clock with his positive PED result (Stanozolol). It was the same PED Rafael Palmiero got suspended for almost two decades ago.

The New York Mets veteran second baseman returned to the juice and was caught by MLB for the second time in his career. Cano will miss the entire 2021 season and forego the $24 million owed to him.

The signs add up now as Cano came off a disappointing 2020 season and revived his numbers in the shortened 2021. For the second time in three years, Cano has been suspended for PED use after serving 80-games in 2018. Cano hit .316 with ten home runs and 30 runs batted in for the 2020 Mets.

Look at the Bright Side

Cano was a designated hitter on a team full of them. Not only does Cano’s defense come off the field, but the large amount of $24 million also comes off the books for 2021. Trevor Bauer and D.J. LeMehieu were in reach before the suspension, but the extra money certainly puts them in play. Giving Bauer anything north of 30 million for one year is a definite option since 50-75% of the money would have belonged to Cano.

The future of Cano looks dim, not just for the Mets, but in baseball. By the time opening day 2020 rolls around, Cano will be 39-years old after spending an entire season on the sidelines. Like Yoenis Cespedes, there will not be a spot for Cano, and we have seen the Mets have no problem putting overpriced talent on the bench.

Steve Cohen and Sandy Alderson hated the Cano trade, despite doing their best not to say it. This might put Cano into a situation where he is forced to retire. Unlike Albert Pujols, he will not be able to hang around a bad team to soak up the rest of his contract. The Mets are focused on getting younger and using their talented prospects instead of older players.

To put it plainly, the only party that loses out here is Robinson Cano. Cano loses out on any possibility of getting into the hall of fame, especially when Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens are still struggling to get in. As for the Mets, they got the best “get out of jail free” card to escape the idiotic Van Wagenen trade for at least one year.

New York Mets Player Evaluations: Second Baseman Robinson Cano

New York Mets, Robinson Cano
The New York Mets needed Robinson Cano to prove his 2019 struggles were a fluke, and he did just that during the 2020 shortened season. Cano showed there is still plenty left in his tank at age 37 and that there is no reason to doubt him for his age 38 season.

There is no doubt the trade to bring him here was questionable, but Cano’s production is separate from it. Cano was red hot through the first 11 games he played before a leg injury shut him down for a little over a week. He slashed .412/.462/.559 though his first 34 at-bats and showed the whole field approach, which made him one of the best of his generation.

Before the injury, all of Cano’s starts came at second base. This was before Andres Gimenez/Luis Guillorme’s earing playing time along with Yoenis Cespedes still taking up space on the roster. Once Cano’s returned, the Mets used him as a DH for nine consecutive starts.

Whole Field Approach

The ability to let Cano consistently rest his legs allowed his bat to remain consistent all season. Once September rolled around, all of his starts were at second base outside of the last two season games. While the average was not as high after the injury, the power was prevalent. Cano slashed .292/.322/.540 with nine home runs and 23 runs batted in.

Cano was one of their best clutch hitters for a team that struggled with runners in scoring position. Cano batted .300 in those spots, including a .357 average with 2 outs and RISP. What brought him success was his ability to take advantage of the open field when opponents shifted on him.

Cano’s wOBA on against the shift was .432 compared to .353 without it. He also found more success hitting pitches on the outside part of the plate. Cano’s three highest average exit velocities came on pitches on the outer third of the zone.

Though his high exit velos were on the outside, seven of his ten home runs came in the middle three zones of the plate. Lastly, his highest BABIPs came on pitches up/in and middle in. Cano has supreme plate coverage, and it showed in various ways with his production.

The DH spot seems clogged, but with the Mets roster’s versatility, Cano will likely see plenty of time there if the Mets want to get 145 productive games out of him in the 2021 season. Like many great Dominican hitters, Cano seems like he will age like fine wine.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Hitting: 70 (60), What his average lacks, his powerful presence will make up for it.

Power: 70 (60), Cano was on pace for 33 homers, but 20-25 seems more realistic for 2021.

Run: 20 (20), Can’t run at full speed without getting injured.

Arm: 70 (70), Still one of the elite arms among second basemen

Field: 50 (40), Average year in a small sample size. Despite the range slipping away, anything he gets to is an out.

Overall: 70 (65), Cano was on pace for an All-Star caliber year, still high on him for 2021

New York Mets: The Peterson/Chirinos Battery Lead Mets To 3-2 Win

New York Mets, David Peterson

Who would have thought the combination of David Peterson and Robinson Chirinos would team up with the 2020 season started? Both guys took different paths to the New York Mets roster but made the difference in their 3-2 victory over the Washington Nationals. The win kept their small playoff hopes still alive as they sit 2.5 games behind the San Francisco Giants for the final playoff spot.

While Peterson did not strike out batters at the same rate as his last start, he was still very effective. In his final start of the season, he held the Nationals to one run over seven innings and struck out four. Peterson used his slider to put away the Nats hitters and make the longest start of his career. He will finish the season with a very impressive 3.44 ERA, very deserving of a spot in next year’s rotation.

Rob and Dom Show

While the Mets only pushed across three runs on the night but they made them count. Chirinos drove in all three with a hustle single and a two-run home run. All of his RBI came off Patrick Corbin, and the home run was his first of the season.

Dominic Smith continued his hot hitting with three more hits, including two more double to up his season total to 21. It broke the Mets record for the most doubles through a 60 game stretch, and he still has three more games to add to that total. Robinson Cano also added two hits, including his first bunt single since 2013.

Edwin Diaz picked up his sixth save of the season after allowing one run in the ninth inning. He bent but did not break as he worked around two hits in the ninth to shut the door.

Rick Porcello faces off against former teammate Max Scherzer for the second game of the series on Friday. It is another 6:05 p.m. ET start from Nationals Park.

New York Mets: Offense Backs Lugo in 5-2 Victory Over Rays

The New York Mets get a good starting pitching effort for the fourth consecutive night. This one against the Tampa Bay Rays came from Seth Lugo, who desperately needed one after his rough outing against the Phillies. The Mets offense also woke up to support Lugo in their 5-2 victory.

Lugo found the handle on his curveball early in this start. It eluded him over the last two starts, but his equalizer was the curve against the weak Rays offense. Lugo pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two runs (one earned), and striking out seven. Out of 95 pitches, 66 were strikes, and he produces plenty of uncomfortable swings.

Solving Snell

Blake Snell had one of the best starts of his career when he faced the Mets back in 2018. He came into his start without allowing any runs in the first two innings of the game during 2020. Robinson Cano changed that with his solo home run on an extremely high fastball in the second. Cano tomahawked the ball into the left-field corner, and it was the highest pitch hit for a home run this season.

Pete Alonso‘s solo home run in the fourth and RBI single in the sixth provided the other two runs against Snell. Alonso also contributed an RBI fielder’s choice in the eighth. Guillermo Heredia‘s first home run as a Met was sandwiched between Alonso’s RBI chances.

It was a much-needed game from Alonso, who was threatening to fall into the interstate with his batting average. Alonso’s swing looked calmer and relaxed instead of his typical swing, which caused him to be off-balanced.

The bullpen trio of Justin Wilson, Chasen Shreve, and Edwin Diaz silenced the Rays bats for 2.2 innings after Lugo left the game. Wilson kept the tying run from scoring in the seventh, Shreve struck out the side in the eighth, and Diaz picked up his fifth save of the season. Diaz lowered his season ERA to a magnificent 1.50 on the season.

The Mets hope to keep their slim playoff hopes alive with Michael Wacha on the mound in the rubber match of the series. He opposes the fireballer Tyler Glasnow for the 7:10 p.m. ET start from Citi Field.