Cano Looking For A Spot In The Bright Lights Of New York Again
No one will argue the fact that Robinson Cano's best years were in New York. The 39-year-old represented the Yankees 5 times out of his 8 trips to the All Star game. Cano was part of the Pinstripes last World Series team in 2009. At the time, I would have bet that Robinson Cano would have been a Yankee for life. Then he left for a big contract.
Money and time changes a lot. 8 years and two PED-related suspensions later, Cano is fighting for his Major League Baseball life. Don't feel badly for him financially. He should be fine. However, he did forfeit $36 million last year for his second suspension and that makes one think about Robinson Cano the person.
David Lennon on newsday.com asked the Mets designated hitter candidate about the last suspension and its effects on his legacy. “You know what? That’s in the past,” Cano said. “Now you just focus on going out there every day. I feel like a kid in a candy store walking in here every day. It was something that I missed a lot last year. I’m happy to be here and just happy to help contribute to winning games.”
Cano was once considered one of the best players in the game, especially while wearing a Yankees uniform. His former agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, the Mets GM at the time, rescued him from an ever-changing Seattle team and now he has a chance to relive the best years of his career in a city that loved him. Could that be why the one-time Hall of Fame shoe-in took a $36 million dollar risk?
Now, it's the Mets that will be taking the risk. Do they keep the 8-time All Star around, hoping for one last spark out of the bat? Robinson Cano has 334 big league home runs. He owns a .303 lifetime batting average. However, this spring he looks sluggish at the plate, lacking any power behind the ball. Mets owner Steve Cohen will not enjoy eating the $46 million owed to the second-baseman/DH, but he'll do it.
Lennon talked about Cano with new Mets manager, Buck Showalter. The new skipper is aware and working with the situation. “I’m aware that there might be an adjustment,” Showalter said. “You’re cognizant and sympathetic to that. But I think he’s so excited to be back with the team and be in a position where he can contribute, it’s going to be where and when as opposed to if right now.”
The Major League Baseball rosters reduce from 28 to 26 on May 1st. If Robinson Cano is not showing signs of contributing to a World Series ring for Mets owner Steve Cohen, he will be gone. My guess is that Buck Showalter won't take left-handed at-bats away from 26-year-old Dominic Smith in favor of Cano on a regular basis. Therefore, it will be tough for the former Yankee to find his stroke. That dangerous lefty-swing of yesteryear is the only thing that can launch Robinson Cano back into the bright lights of NYC.