Mets make the “baseball decision” regarding Robinson Cano

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.

Mets’ Robinson Cano preparing for unfamiliar role

New York Mets, Robinson Cano

New York Mets’ infielder Robinson Cano had a really solid season in 2020, when he slashed .316/.352/.544 with 10 home runs in 49 games. But in November of that year, he was busted for PEDs use and suspended for the whole 2021 campaign.

Redemption, for him, starts now. He will have to make sure to find ways to contribute to the Mets, and not the other way around. The team, therefore, is looking to try him at an unfamiliar position to increase his versatility: first base.

He will play first base for the first time since 2018 on Thursday. He left his mitt at home, so he wil have to look for a borrowed one.

“I’ll figure it out,” Canó told the Mets’ official site, laughing. “Maybe I’ll play with my [second baseman’s] glove at first base. It’ll be easy.”

The Mets are looking for creative ways to fit Cano in the lineup

Cano, a natural second baseman, is projected to split his playing time between second base, third base, and the designated hitter spot. He probably won’t be an everyday player, but if he is hitting, the Mets will find ways to fit him in the lineup.

“I’m aware that there might be an adjustment,” Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “I’m sympathetic to that. But I think he’s so excited to be back with the team and be in a position where he can contribute. It’s going to be ‘where and when’ as opposed to ‘if’ right now.”

The infielder, who is 39 and probably on his last legs, is “happy to be in the lineup and be able to play.” Although he was skeptical about the first base experiment at first, he is open to finding creative ways to play as much as he can.

“I’m going to do my best, that’s what I know,” Canó said. “I know that’s a challenge. At the end of the day, the goal is to win. I’m willing to help.”

Baseball’s Hall of Fame Needs To Fix Their Selection Process

rob manfred, mlb

Tuesday marked the ninth time no players were selected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame since the first class was inducted back in 1936. The BBWAA also set a record with 14 blank ballots because of the controversial Curt Schilling and steroid tied candidates.

Baseball is the only Hall of Fame among the four major sports where only the writers are the judge, the jury, and the executioner. This flawed process allowed writers with bruised or exacerbated egos to severely damage the voting process’s integrity.

Election rules state, “Voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” Some voters stick to the rules provided while others insert “did I like him?” to the end of that sentence. This year’s fiasco heightens the need for change in the selection process.

By no means is this a rebellion against the writers, considering that I fall into the same category. The issue is that people who never spent a day playing, coaching, or working in the front office of a Major League Baseball team hold the fate of all-time great players in their pens. 

If writers do not have egos, then explain why Ken Griffey Jr., Derek Jeter, or Greg Maddux never got 100% of the vote or why certain biases against first-ballot players exist?

Enlist a Committee

It is not a matter of kicking writers off the vote; it is about bringing in the perspective of people who had to play and manage against the considered players. Committees already exist for separate eras, but it should encompass the entire Hall of Fame. The other three major sports use a committee filled with writers, executives, Hall of Famers, and other experts in their respective sports.

Earning a spot on these committees is a thorough process and eliminated the current situation in baseball. Plenty of current voters do not deserve their vote, and plenty of former players have different opinions that would allow deserving players to get their moment in Cooperstown.

Holding a vote from Schilling is reasonable due to his support for a terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol. There are plenty of gray areas for the rest of the ballot. It has been a struggle for “steroid era” players to enter the Hall even though MLB did not implement PED testing until 2004.

Bud Selig was the commissioner during this era and did next to nothing to solve the problem quickly. Selig got his day in Cooperstown, while the players who kept baseball alive might not get theirs. During Selig’s era, taking steroids was as normal as drinking Gatorade in between innings. Even players who did not have the special talents of the potential Hall of Famers were juicing.

It is impossible to describe baseball’s past without these names in the Hall of Fame. When they are enshrined, the steroid conversation does not fade away. It will never be engraved on their plaques, but it will always be attached to their names. Post-2004 abusers like Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano deserve to miss out on enshrinement. They tested positive in an era where mainstream cheating comes in the form of technology.

Players See The Game Differently

Most players and managers would tell you Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens belong in the Hall. If you are against steroid users, ask about Billy Wagner or Jeff Kent; you would get the same results. Instead, all four of them, along with much more, are polling at numbers that will keep them out for the rest of their time on the ballot.

There are plenty of great media members who deserve to keep their vote, but others have egos as large as the players they despise. Some voters are not even covering the sport at the moment. Replacing media members with other baseball voices will bring back lost integrity from the most historic and illustrious sports Hall of Fame.

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.