Robinson Cano Designated for Assignment by Mets; Hit .195 in 12 Games

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVMay 2, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 29: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Mets at bat during the second inning of the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field on April 29, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images)
Dustin Satloff/Getty Images

The New York Mets announced Monday that veteran infielder Robinson Cano was designated for assignment.

Cano is owed $40.5 million combined for the 2022-23 seasons, as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic noted.

The 39-year-old had a .195 batting average with just one extra-base hit—a home run April 15—through 12 games. The Dominican Republic native appeared in just two of the Mets' last six games, both starts at designated hitter.

Cano joined New York via a 2018 trade with the Seattle Mariners that also brought in closer Edwin Diaz for a package highlighted by outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic. The Mets also received $20 million to help offset Cano's contract, which had five seasons remaining of $24 million per year.

After struggling in his first year with the team, the second baseman fared well during the shortened 2020 campaign with a .316 batting average and 10 home runs in 49 appearances. He later tested positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing drug, and was suspended for the 2021 season. 

It was the second PED suspension for Cano, who was also suspended 80 games in 2018.

The veteran completed his Mets career with 168 games across four seasons, producing a .269 average with 24 home runs.

It marked a steep decline from his production for the New York Yankees earlier in his career, when he hit .309 across nine seasons with at least a .300 average in seven of those years. Including his five years with Seattle, Cano had eight All-Star selections, two Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Sluggers and a World Series title in 2009.

He also finished in the top 10 of MVP voting in six seasons.

Even with that resume, his recent struggles could limit Cano's market going forward.

The Mets, meanwhile, will clear more playing time for J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith at DH, while Jeff McNeil and Luis Guillorme will spend time at second base.

MLB teams were required to cut their rosters from 28 players to 26 by Monday because of the latest collective bargaining agreement. The Mets also optioned pitcher Yoan Lopez to Triple-A to satisfy the requirement.