The Mets announced on Monday morning that they have designated veteran second baseman, Robinson Cano, for assignment along with reliever Yoan Lopez.
The organization had to cut two roster spots to bring the official depth chart from 28 to 26 players, per MLB’s Monday deadline.
Within seven days of the decision, the Mets can either trade Cano or place him on irrevocable outright waivers.
The 39-year-old’s brief career in Queens has now come to an unceremonious end after three-plus seasons, though the Mets will eat the remaining $37 million of his contract that expires next season.
He only appeared in 168 games, though, after he was suspended for the entire 2021 campaign due to violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
While he performed well in Winter Ball down in the Dominican Republic this winter, Cano could not muster much in his return to the Mets. In 12 games (43 at-bats), he slashed .195/.233/.268 (.501 OPS) with one home run and three RBI.
The decision had been looming over the Mets in recent weeks as the position-player cut seemed as though it was coming down to Cano, Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme, and Travis Jankowski.
“I wouldn’t be happy,” Francisco Lindor said on Sunday about Cano potentially being cut. “I don’t want to see that happen. He’s a good teammate, a good person and obviously, he’s got a great track record and we all know what he’s capable of doing. I don’t care how old he is, the mind is still fresh and he can still hit.”
While Guillorme (INF) and Jankowski (CF) provide defensive fortitude, Smith made one final convincing argument to stay with the big club on Sunday night when he went 4-for-4 with three RBI in the Mets’ 10-6 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
“It’s definitely going to be a very emotional day no matter who it is, and it’ll be something to see,” Smith said on Monday night. “I think this team has just really grown to love each other and love playing with each other. [Monday], it’ll be interesting.”
Cano was acquired from the Seattle Mariners alongside closer Edwin Diaz in a deal sparked by former GM Brodie Van Wagenen and included top prospect Jarred Kelenic being sent out west.
He will now try to catch on elsewhere to continue his 17th MLB season that features eight All-Star Game appearances, a 2009 World Series title with the New York Yankees, a .302 lifetime batting average, and 2,632 career hits.