Mets' Robinson Cano Suspended for 2021 MLB Season After 2nd PED Violation

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistNovember 18, 2020

New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano throws to first after fielding a ground out by Philadelphia Phillies' Didi Gregorius during the fourth inning of a baseball game, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano will be suspended for the entire 2021 season after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, the team announced Wednesday:

Jeff Passan of ESPN first reported the news, noting the 38-year-old will forfeit his entire $24 million salary for the season.

Cano was previously suspended for 80 games in 2018 after testing positive for furosemide, a diuretic used to mask other substances.

Mets team president Sandy Alderson provided a statement on the suspension:

"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."

Cano had been one of the top two-way second basemen in the majors during the first 14 years with the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, earning eight All-Star selections, five Silver Sluggers and two Gold Glove awards. He finished in the top 10 of MVP voting six times in this stretch, producing a .304 career batting average to that point.

He was traded to the Mets after his 2018 suspension and he struggled mightily in his first season, producing a career low .256 batting average. He also hit just 13 home runs in 107 games while being limited by hamstring injuries.

The veteran bounced back in 2020, hitting .316 with 10 home runs in 49 games during the shortened season.

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New York must now plan for life without him in 2021, taking away a key piece in the lineup but also potentially freeing financial flexibility for other moves. The team has internal options as well, including Jeff McNeil and Andres Gimenez, who could each play second base full time after spending time at other positions in 2020.

Cano will be eligible to return in 2022 and will still have two years and $48 million remaining on his contract.