It seems like a long time ago that we were celebrating the greatness of Robinson Cano. Back when he was with the Yankees, he was pretty clearly the best second baseman in all of baseball and people began to talk about and even expect a Hall of Fame career for him. The first couple of years he spent in Seattle also went well, although he wasn’t quite as good as his Yankees days. Nonetheless, he still posted a trio of All-Star appearances in Seattle and all was well until he was hit with an 80 game suspension for testing positive for a banned diuretic and then traded to the Mets in the deal that also sent Edwin Diaz to New York for Jarred Kelenic, Justin Dunn, and others.
The Mets probably, in their heart of hearts, want a do-over on that one today.
BREAKING: New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and will be suspended for the entire 2021 season, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN. He will forfeit a $24 million salary. News story will be up soon at ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 18, 2020
As of this writing, it is unknown as to what substance Cano tested positive for, but given this is his second positive test, he will miss the entire 2021 season and get hit for a tidy amount in his wallet as a result. Given his decline at the plate and now with this suspension, one does wonder if he will play in a Mets uniform again. He is under contract through the 2023 season, but the Mets and their new ownership are not likely to be willing to wait around for him to return and hope he is reformed and also playing at a high level.
For the Mets, there is a real chance that this helps them on the field in 2021 as Cano was very clearly in decline and now the team could see themselves as players for a guy like DJ LeMahieu. It is never good to lose a player for a season, but taking his $24 million off of the 2021 books definitely creates some opportunities.
As for Cano, his legacy is now forever tarnished. While his own lack of production and the previous positive test for a banned diuretic already greatly hampered his Hall of Fame case, now there is next to no chance he heads to Cooperstown. Beyond that, his career in the big leagues is an open question and one that we won’t be able to answer until more details are known and until we see what he looks like before the 2022 season. At 38 years old, though....well, the clock is ticking.