Once the end of the 2021 World Series happens, the New York Mets have a $24 million problem on their hands in Robinson Cano.
The 38-year-old is set to come off the restricted list and off his 162-game suspension for PED’s and will be back on the active roster.
But where do the Mets put him? Especially with no designated hitter spot in the National League.
You can’t put him at first base with Pete Alonso there. Clearly you can’t put him at shortstop with Francisco Lindor signed for the next 10 years.
As for his second base position that he’s played since coming into the majors in 2005, the Mets probably make a strong attempt to keep Javier Baez, who is best friends with Lindor and who was acquired at the trade deadline back in July.
Despite the whole booing situation with Baez, his tenure with the Mets was good, hitting .314 with nine home run and 22 RBI in 45 games for the Mets and would be a wise choice to keep at second base considering he’s 28 and entering the prime years of his career.
So again, what do the Mets do with Cano, who will be 39 at the end of October?
Buy him out?
Sure, the Mets can buy out the rest of the almost $43 million of the $48 million owed to him and let Cano become a free agent.
After all, this isn’t the Wilson’s anymore. Steve Cohen has the money to absorb that and can simply wash his hands of perhaps one of the worst trades of recent time for the Mets considering who they let walk away in the trade to the Mariners.
Cano doesn’t fit the Mets currently and a buy out would work.
Sure. You can trade him. The Mets would have to eat a lot of that money owed to Cano considering he is on strike two with MLB and a third failed test would ban him from the sport forever. But you can trade him.
At this point, he would be a DH for an American League team in need of a hitter. He has a no-trade clause in his contract and would probably dictate where he’d play though.
Knowing Cano, if he were to be traded and given the chance, his first choice is the Yankees, the team he came up with in the majors and always wanted to go back to when he was with Seattle.
While they do have DJ LeMahieu at second base, they could use Cano as a DH and occasional infielder if needed. Plus, his lefty bat is needed in a lineup that is right-handed heavy.
There are other teams who could use Cano’s bat too as a DH, but the no-trade clause currently would dictate things unless he were to be bought out.
There is always the option for Cano to walk away from the final two years of his deal and to call it a career. Would he walk away from a guaranteed $48 million though? That’s a hard pill to swallow since his money is guaranteed and he just lost $24 million from the suspension for the 2021 season.
His chances for the Hall of Fame have taken a massive blow, especially with two suspensions in his career for PED’s now. He’s at 334 home runs and 2,624 career hits. If not for the two suspensions, he’d be a lot closer to the 3,000 hit mark and his Hall of Fame chances are much closer.
But forget that. Cano being the competitor he is probably doesn’t want his career to end siting on the sidelines from a season-long suspension. Alex Rodriguez didn’t and he got the chance to rejuvenate his career and flip the script on how his career ended.
The Mets have a choice to make. It’s an expensive one, but they still have to decide what to do with Cano going forward.