Mets nominate Robinson Cano for assignment

Major League Baseball’s roster size shrank on Monday, and the Mets made the most notable cut, parting ways with second baseman Robinson ...


Major League Baseball’s roster size shrank on Monday, and the Mets made the most notable cut, parting ways with second baseman Robinson Canó, who struggled in the twilight of his career.

Canó, 39, may not be a free agent until next week as he has been slated for assignment, but the Mets are moving on from a player who had been a centerpiece of their successful trade in 2018 with the Seattle Mariners. By removing Canó from their roster of 40 players, the Mets, entered Monday with National League best recordare ready to eat the remaining portion of the $40.5 million they owed him this season.

back from her second performance enhancing drug suspension, a one-year ban that cost him the entire 2021 season, Canó was hitting .195 on .501 plus slugging on-base percentage in 12 games this year. He was highly regarded in the Mets clubhouse, but in 43 plate appearances, he walked two and one extra hit.

Eight-time All-Star and 2009 World Series winner with the Yankees, Canó had the makings of a Hall of Fame resume before sputtering in recent seasons with its suspension-tainted heritage.

Because the baseball labor dispute cut the length of 2022 spring training in half, MLB and the players’ union agreed to expand rosters to 28 for the first month of the season in hopes to prevent injuries. On Monday, the roster size returned to the usual 26, but with an extension through May 29 of a cap of 14 pitchers. Instead of demoting a more capable young player to the minor leagues, like Dominic Smith, a 26-year-old first baseman, the Mets made the most painful financial choice.

“He’s very determined to win, and when I talk to Steve, or when I talk to Alex Cohen, it’s, ‘Do what’s best for the team and for the roster,'” said general manager Billy Eppler on Steven A. Cohen, the second-year Mets owner and his wife.

Eppler added: “In a way it makes the job quite fulfilling, to be able to direct whatever we can do in their direction. They want to know what is best for the club.

When the Mets traded for Canó before the 2019 season, his former agent, Brodie Van Wagenen, was the Mets’ general manager. He and the Wilpons, who owned the Mets, thought Canó could play well into his late thirties. Canó was coming out of an injury and his first PED suspension (80 games).

To tip the trade for Canó and bring Edwin Díaz closer, the Mets mortgaged part of their future by giving up three prospects — including two first-round picks, outfielder Jarred Kelenic and pitcher Justin Dunn — and soaked up $100 million a 10-year, $240 million free agent contract that Canó signed with the Mariners.

Canó will receive $48 million in 2022 and 23 whether he plays or not, with the Mariners contributing $7.5 million for those seasons. But under Cohen, the team behaved as though money was no object in its pursuit of a championship. The Mets’ payroll of $288 million, for luxury tax purposes, trailed only the Los Angeles Dodgers in MLB, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

The December 2018 trade that brought Canó to the Mets was questioned by many at the time and turned out surprisingly. Kelenic spat to start his major league career with the Mariners, while Dunn, now injured, transformed into a useful pitcher ahead of his March trade to the Cincinnati Reds. Díaz has been the best player so far, establishing himself as a solid closer after a turbulent first season at Queens. On Friday, he was dominant in one run while finishing second no-hitter in Mets history.

As for Canó, he battled injuries in his first two seasons with the Mets but hit .275 with 23 homers in 156 games. Then came the second PED suspension – and no explanation of how he tested positive again — and batting slowed in 2022. And with that, the Mets said goodbye.

Mets manager Buck Showalter has been suspended for Monday’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves after Major League Baseball determined Mets reliever Yoan López intentionally threw the Philadelphia slugger Kyle Schwarber the night before.

López, opted for Class AAA Syracuse following Sunday night’s victory, received a three-game ban that begins each time he returns to the active big league roster. If he appeals, the sentence would be delayed until the process is complete.

Michael Hill, MLB’s senior vice president for field operations, announced the discipline about 20 minutes before the first pitch of the Mets’ game against Atlanta — the first meeting this season between the NL East rivals.

Bench coach Glenn Sherlock, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and batting coach Eric Chávez were to replace Showalter, who also missed a game last month for a medical procedure.

Showalter was suspended for one game and fined. López was also fined an undisclosed amount by the commissioner’s office “for intentionally throwing pitches” at Schwarber in the ninth inning of a 10-6 win on Sunday night.

Mets batters have been hit by pitches 20 times leading the major league this season, infuriating Showalter and several players. ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Newsrust - US Top News: Mets nominate Robinson Cano for assignment
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