Last year the New York Mets traded for Robinson Cano in a blockbuster. The future Hall-of-Famer is now a luxury the Amazins can’t afford.
It was a huge move, December 3, 2018, when New York Mets made a with Seattle for second baseman Robinson Cano, and closer Edwin Diaz. At the time, it seemed like Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen hit a home run. A year later that home run seems more like an infield fly.
Robinson Cano has a borderline Hall-of-Fame career to this point. His career slash line of .302/.352/.490/.843 with 2570 hits puts him in good company. Among HOF second baseman his hits (2570) would be ninth between Nellie Fox and Joe Morgan. His .843 OPS would be seventh between Tony Lazzeri and Rod Carew. 324 home runs would put him first and his .490 slugging percentage second overall.
Unfortunately for the Mets, the 37-year-old is further along the downside of his career than originally thought. Last year various injuries limited Cano to 107 games. His production suffered as well. Cano’s .256/.307/.428/.736 2019 slash line represents career lows in each category. A huge disappointment to the team.
Due to his limited defensive range, Cano can only play second base, as he did last year, or first base. With Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith at first, second base was the only option the New York Mets had. As a result, the Amazins had to move their incumbent second baseman and best hitter, Jeff McNeil to left field.
After last season, the Mets realize they need to make some changes to the lineup. They primarily need a centerfielder. That would put Michael Conforto in right and one of Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis, or Brandon Nimmo in left. All four had a better OPS than Cano. McNeil is the Amazins best second baseman and they are a better fielding team with him manning the position.
At an average value of $22.8M per season through 2024, Cano becomes a very expensive bench player. That’s a luxury the Mets can’t afford, due to their self-inflicted budget constraints. Therefore Van Wagenen has to move Cano to another team. That may include coughing up some money or kicking in some talent to sweeten the pot.
Here are four teams the New York Mets could send Robinson Cano to.