Robinson Cano got popped — again — for PEDs, again. He will serve a full season suspension and is out for all of 2021.
There are lots of things about this story that are absolutely crazy. For one, Cano will forfeit his entire $24M salary. That’s crazy. I can confidently say that if someone planned to give me $24M — or just $12M, or even $1M — I would do nothing to screw that up. NOT A THING. Cano, on the other hand, apparently does not share that perspective. Crazy.
What’s also crazy is that he has been down this road before (suspended 80 games in 2018) and he should have known better. 1) He should have known better than to put a substance in his body that would produce a positive test. And 2) he should have known better than to get caught — again. Crazy.
Who Will Not Miss Cano in 2021
McNeil will not miss Robinson Cano in 2021. With Cano’s suspension McNeil can slide back into his natural position at second base. McNeil played pretty well in left for the Mets, but he’s a second baseman and second basemen prefer playing second base.
The new Mets’ owner will not miss Robinson in 2021. He wasn’t hamstrung before the suspension, but now he doesn’t have to pay Cano the $24M that he was to earn. In fact, Cohen doesn’t have to spend it all if he doesn’t want to. He could, if he chooses to, bring in another big name free agent like DJ LeMahieu. Or Cohen can buy a new yacht. Or he can hire me for the Mets’ media staff. I’ll give him a discount and take just $1M.
Paul Goldschmidt, Jackie Bradley, Jr., Michael Brantley
And/or any other free agent outfielder won’t miss Robinson Cano in 2021. Because, when (or if) McNeil goes back to 2B there will be an opening for an outfielder in the game’s biggest market on a team that has at least $24M more dollars to spend than it did last week.
The New York Mets
The Mets won’t miss Robinson Cano in 2021. In his heyday Cano was an otherworldly player. He has been an All-Star eight times, including 5 straight years. He has a career batting average of .303, and his lowest average in any year before 2019 was .271 (thanks Baseball-Refernce.com). But that was before he was in his late 30s, and now we understand now why his 2020 was so good. It was all a mirage. A “clean” Robinson Cano was not going to be a stellar Robinson Cano.
The Seattle Mariners
The Mariners won’t miss Robinson Cano in 2021. The M’s come out of this looking like the smart kids in the class. They must have seen the writing on the wall after Cano’s 2018 suspension. They promptly shipped him off the the only team dysfunctional and wealthy enough to take him. And they don’t have to pay their portion of Cano’s contract this year either. That portion is in the low single-digit millions, but that’s, like, freakin’ mega money in Seattle. Now the M’s can get an extra free agent as well. Or they could hire me and you for their media department!
You and I
Speaking of us, we won’t miss Robinson Cano in 2021, either. He was going to play for the New York Mets. Nobody cares about the New York Mets. We’re always forced to hear about the Mets, whether it’s because they’re just a bad baseball team or they’re having ownership issues, or the water main outside the stadium sprung a leak. Now we’ll sit through all of that again, but at least it will be about real baseball stuff, who they’ll sign, who they’ll move, who plays where and how they play. With Cano the Mets were going to be boring. Without Cano the Mets will be less boring.
Who Will Miss Cano In 2021?
You and I
Frankly, you and I will miss Robinson Cano in 2021. Let’s face it, the guy is amazing to watch. Watching Cano turn a double play or a relay from the outfield is like watching Rembrandt paint. You just stare with your mouth open and enjoy the beauty of a master at work. Watching Cano swing so effortlessly, even when he occasionally misses, makes me think I could do that too. You can’t help yourself either, can you? You just watch in awe as he plays ball in a way that looks like he’s floating just above the field.
The Baseball Hall of Fame will miss Robinson Cano in 2021. It will miss him in 2028 and beyond too. One could argue that Cano could have been considered a near lock for the Hall before his first PED suspension. But now that Cano has been popped a second time he can’t really claim that it was some sort of accident. Cano could have, maybe, redeemed himself with great play and a humble attitude in the final years of his monster contract and won back some of those voters. Instead, now he’s just another cheater.
Now that is crazy.
Follow Joe Harman on Twitter @JoeHarman14.