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Robinson Cano - 162-Game PED Suspension

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  • Robinson Cano - 162-Game PED Suspension

    Robinson Cano Receives 162-Game PED Suspension

    By Steve Adams
    18 Nov 2020, 2:33 PM CDT

    Mets second baseman Robinson Cano has tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports (via Twitter). The league confirmed minutes after Passan’s report that Cano has tested positive for Stanozolol. Because this is Cano’s second PED ban — he also tested positive with the Mariners back in 2018 — he’ll be suspended for 162 games. Cano will spend the 2021 season on the restricted list and will not earn any of his $24MM salary ($3.75MM of which was to be paid by the Mariners).Click image for larger version

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    Presumably, if the 2021 season is shortened at all due to the ongoing pandemic, Cano’s suspension would carry over into the 2022 campaign. He’s still signed through 2023 at that same $24MM annual rate under the terms of the 10-year, $240MM deal he signed in Seattle back in December 2013.

    The pair of PED suspensions will unquestionably sully what otherwise looked like a potential Hall of Fame career. Cano, an eight-time All-Star, has taken home five Silver Slugger Awards, two Gold Gloves and posted a superlative .303/.352/.492 batting line with 334 home runs, 571 doubles, 33 triples, 1257 runs scored an 1303 runs driven in. He’s also racked up 2624 career hits, which would’ve given him a chance at cracking the illustrious 3000-hit barrier were it not for this latest suspension. He’ll still technically have an outside chance, but a pair of 188-hit seasons at ages 39 and 40 don’t seem likely.

    The 38-year-old struggled through a dismal 2019 season in Queens, hitting just .256/.307/.428 in a season that will be remembered for the juiced ball and record levels of offense throughout the league. Cano put together what looked to be a a terrific bounceback effort in 2020 with a .316/.352/.544 slash in 182 plate appearances, although this latest PED revelation obviously tarnishes the legitimacy of that production.

    That strong showing notwithstanding, Cano’s suspension will work to the Mets’ benefit from a roster construction standpoint. Incoming owner Steve Cohen was already expected to be among the game’s most aggressive owners in an offseason where most clubs will be looking to recoup lost revenues.

    Cano’s suspension not only opens up $20.25MM of unexpected payroll space in 2021 but also paves a clearer path for the Mets to put Jeff McNeil back at second base if they see fit. That makes for a cleaner alignment of J.D. Davis at the hot corner with a possible outfield alignment of Dominic Smith in left, Brandon Nimmo in center and Michael Conforto in right. Of course, given the aforementioned spending capabilities the Mets possess under Cohen, it’s quite likely that the current alignment will be altered by offseason additions, be they via the free-agent market or trade market.

    Already, the Mets have been listed as a potential suitor for top free agents such as Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto, George Springer, DJ LeMahieu and Marcell Ozuna. Similarly, they’ve been suggested as a speculative trade partner for the Mets when they inevitably move Francisco Lindor this winter. The additional payroll capacity only strengthens their ability to pursue such upgrades.

    Drew's Sig

  • #2
    Canó Receives 162-game PED Suspension

    by Anthony DiComo @AnthonyDiComo
    18 Nov 2020, 4:26 PM EST

    NEW YORK -- In an announcement with significant implications on both Robinson Canó’s career and the Mets’ near-term future, Major League Baseball revealed Wednesday that Canó has received a 162-game suspension without pay for testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance. Canó will miss the entire 2021 season.

    Click image for larger version

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ID:	12772“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program,” Mets president Sandy Alderson said in a statement. “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.”

    Canó previously served an 80-game suspension in 2018 after violating MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for the first time. Playing for the Mariners at that time, Canó tested positive for furosemide, a diuretic better known as Lasix, which is often used to help mask banned substances in urine tests.

    “I understand that everything that goes into my body,” Canó said in a prepared statement following that suspension announcement. “I’m responsible for that.”

    According to a source, Canó did not plan to release a statement following his latest positive test.

    Brodie Van Wagenen had been the Mets' general manager for about five weeks when he acquired Canó, his former client, in a December 2018 trade that also brought Edwin Díaz to New York for top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn, among others. Canó struggled throughout '19, but he rebounded in '20 to hit .318/.352/.544 over 49 games as a 37-year-old. Canó credited his success to an offseason workout program that allowed him to keep his legs in peak shape.

    “If I had any concern about what Robby’s physical state or performance ability going forward is, I would not have made the deal,” Van Wagenen said shortly after the trade. “This guy has huge ambition to be able to be great in the coming years. All of us have great confidence that a bat as consistently good as Robinson Canó has been over the years, he’s not going to lose that skill set. And if he continues to work as hard on his body and his defensive mobility, there’s no reason he can’t be a productive defensive player for us as we go forward, too.”

    Canó will forfeit the entirety of his $24 million salary in 2021, but he is still due $48 million from '22-23. The Mets are responsible for approximately $40 million of that total, with Seattle picking up the rest.

    A career .303 hitter with 2,624 hits and 334 home runs over 16 seasons with the Yankees, Mariners and Mets, Canó would be a borderline Hall of Famer by numbers alone. But voters have historically taken a strict line with players even suspected of PED use, let alone those with documented positive tests.

    While Canó’s latest suspension will have a seismic impact on the Mets’ roster and payroll, the team is well-covered at second base in his absence. The simplest option would be to slide Jeff McNeil from left field back to his natural position at second base. That would allow the Mets to shift Brandon Nimmo to left field and sign a free agent -- George Springer and Jackie Bradley Jr. being the most prominent options -- to man center. It would also theoretically improve the Mets’ defense at multiple positions.

    The Mets could also use Andrés Giménez full-time at second base, keeping their current outfield alignment of McNeil, Nimmo and Michael Conforto intact. They could acquire a free agent such as DJ LeMahieu to fill their hole at second base. Or they could move McNeil to second and sign a corner outfielder such as Marcell Ozuna to fill that hole. Without Canó’s money on the books, the Mets can spend up to $20 million more this winter without worrying about the luxury tax threshold.

    Those decisions will occur in time, likely after the Mets hire a president of baseball operations to serve under Alderson.

    No matter what the Mets choose, Canó’s long-term future is unclear. He remains under contract through 2023 at significant money. It is unknown if the Mets will welcome Canó back following multiple violations of MLB’s drug policy, or if they will move on despite their long-term financial commitment to him.

    Drew's Sig


    • #3
      This is fantastic news! We don't need a cheater taking up a roster spot at $20M at the age of 38. Frees up money to fill our 2021 roster even better. We already had internal options for 2B. Now Rosario may be our SS with Gimenez moving to 2B. Although I'd much prefer to ship Rosario et al for Lindor.


      • #4
        You get $24M this year, no matter how badly you might play. You even get it if you get injured. What could go wrong?

        Cano: "Hold my beer and watch this."


        • #5
          McNeil to 2B, Rosario or Gimenez at SS, Davis at 3B, Smith or Alonso at 1B, Nimmo to LF. Bring in Springer for CF.

          Package the loser of the SS and 1B sweepstakes for pitching. Guillorme is the backup IF, I'd resign Marisnick as the #4 OF.

          Realmuto or McCann for C, Sign Bauer.


          LF: Nimmo
          2B: McNeil
          RF: Conforto
          1B: Smith or Alonso
          3B: Davis
          CF: Springer
          C: Realmuto or McCann
          SS: Rosario or Gimenez


          IF: Guilorme
          OF: Marisnick
          C- NIdo


          1 deGrom
          2 Bauer
          3 Stroman
          4 Peterson
          5 SP trade


          Closer: Diaz
          Setup: Familia
          Setup: Brach
          Setup: Familia
          Long: Gsellman
          Long: Lugo

          That's 22 spots, openings still there for improvement.

          The pen is still weak, I understand, but I'm just going by the current roster and factoring in free agents and the potential SS/1B trade chips.

          That is a damn fine start to a winner.


          • #6
            An exciting roster for sure. It'd be even more exciting with Lindor up the middle. I love our defense if Lindor, Gimenez, Springer and McCann up the middle. Only better defense would be if they acquired Arenado but that's a pipe dream!


            • #7
              you have Familia twice, but no Betances. Also, Lugo as the long man defeats the entire purpose of not using him as a starter. IMO, he's either high leverage, or in the rotation.


              • #8
                Originally posted by jeffmetsfan View Post
                An exciting roster for sure. It'd be even more exciting with Lindor up the middle. I love our defense if Lindor, Gimenez, Springer and McCann up the middle. Only better defense would be if they acquired Arenado but that's a pipe dream!
                there's no way to have that line up AND Lindor - even with 20M extra. Lindor is going to want a 35-40MM contract to not hit free agency, which starts next season with limited money coming off the books (and Cano's 20MM back on the books).

                I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but Cano's PEDs or not, I just don't see the Mets, who have holes at Catcher and CF committing 35MM to SS where they have a plethora of options.


                • #9
                  Sorry, meant to have Betances, we damn sure don't need TWO Familias...


                  • mjjm367
                    mjjm367 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    So you are saying we should just be one big happy Familia...

                    Wow, that pun really sucked, even by my obviously low standards.

                • #10
                  I'm wondering if there isn't some way to negate Cano's contract after a second PED ding.

                  Some kind of grievance or something?

                  Pipe dream, I'm sure, but I have a feeling that we won't see him an orange and blue again.


                  • #11
                    Originally posted by Brian Stark View Post
                    I'm wondering if there isn't some way to negate Cano's contract after a second PED ding.

                    Some kind of grievance or something?

                    Pipe dream, I'm sure, but I have a feeling that we won't see him an orange and blue again.
                    We can offer him a buyout, but the contract is guaranteed. I have read that if the 2021 season is shortened, his suspension would carry over to 2022 (not positive about that, but have seen it several places already). Cano would not have to accept the buyout, but might, when the alternative is to sit on the bench for 2 years.


                    • NY FANG
                      NY FANG commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I believe its a 162 game suspension - which makes sense because what happens if you're caught mid-season? So if the season is shortened to say 100 games, he still would have a 62 game suspension to fill.

                  • #12

                    Drew's Sig


                    • #13
                      Per MJJM, no way from what I understand to negate the contract, but now that PEDs are a less prevalent thing, I wonder if the players association, in exchange for some other desires, would allow contracts for those caught using PEDs, to be negated? I mean both sides have to hate the cheaters, and with the cheaters no longer in such high number, the non-cheaters might sign off on that.

                      You want to cheat your way into a contract, well then be prepared to have your current deal washed out as a team option.


                      • #14
                        The tweet popped in there after my post, but short of a trade (And who would want him) I can't imagine the Mets simply cutting him and eating his 20MM per year and unless there is a new 2021 CBA clause that will allow for lux tax purposes a team to eat 1 bad contract (similar to NHL), then I don't see the Mets cutting Cano...


                        • #15
                          with Cano out, should the Mets look into re-signing Jed Lowrie? One year deal with an option that kicks in if he has 1 Plate Appearance?


                          • mjjm367
                            mjjm367 commented
                            Editing a comment
                            That was freakin' funny!!!
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