September 27, 2022

Robinson Cano in discussion with Padres on free agent contract: reports

Robinson Cano’s time with the Mets had its moments, like when he celebrated hitting a solo home run off Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies in April. (John Minchillo/AP)

WASHINGTON — The Mets could be running into their recently released second baseman as early as June.

Robinson Cano is in discussions with the San Diego Padres on a free agent contract, per multiple reports on Thursday. The deal may not be finalized by the end of the day, but the two sides have made progress according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. The Padres would be taking a flier on Cano as their designated hitter for very little cost and, besides his PED-related baggage, with not much downside.

Cano, 39, was designated for assignment by the Mets on MLB’s May 2 deadline to trim rosters from 28 to 26 men. Mets owner Steve Cohen told GM Billy Eppler to “make the baseball decision” regarding the multiple ways the front office could approach the roster cut.

The veteran second baseman, who struggled in 12 games with the Mets (hitting .195) and took away key at-bats from other bench players like J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith, became the odd man out in a somewhat surprising decision for the organization. Under the Wilpon-owned Mets, it was easy to see the club hanging onto Cano for the sake of the remaining money left on his contract alone.

Cano is still owed just under $40 million from the Mets through the 2023 season. If the Padres sign him, they will be required to pay just the league minimum of $700,000 for his lefty bat. The question is whether Cano will find any luck on the west coast after he turned in the worst strikeout rate (25.6%) of his 17-year big-league career upon returning from his 2021 suspension.

The Mets are scheduled to play the Padres six times, the first coming during their west coast trip on June 6. San Diego will play at Citi Field on July 22, immediately after the All-Star break.