Robinson Cano
Jason Getz | USA TODAY Sports

The Mets actually did it.

Robinson Cano has been designated for assignment. It’s a move that may signal the end of his career.

Cano was batting .195 this season with a home run and three RBI. He had barely played in recent days, only starting one of the last five games. The move comes ahead of Monday’s noon deadline for MLB teams to reduce their rosters from 28 players to 26. The Mets sent right-hander Yoan Lopez down to Triple-A Syracuse in their other roster move.

Cano is under contract through the 2023 season. So the Mets are eating roughly $37 million in salary by dumping the second baseman/designated hitter. But owner Steve Cohen has made it clear he will spare no expense to win the World Series, and the decision to move on from Cano further illustrates that.

Losing Cano will have little on-field impact for the National League-leading Mets. But his departure could be a sensitive subject manager Buck Showalter needs to work around in his clubhouse. Especially after star shortstop Francisco Lindor vouched for Cano prior to his release.


“I wouldn’t be happy,” Lindor said. “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.”

Cano will turn 40 in October. He missed all of last season while serving a 162-game suspension for PEDs (he also served an 80-game ban earlier in his career). Cano had a borderline Hall of Fame argument based on his accomplishments with the Yankees and Mariners — he was an eight-time All-Star and won five Silver Slugger and two Gold Glove awards from 2006-17 — but his career nosedived with the first suspension in 2018. That said: If this is the end of the road, he will retire with a .302 average, 335 homers, over 2,600 hits and a 69.1 WAR. And we’ll always have the bunt to beat the shift in Washington on Opening Day.

James Kratch is the managing editor of ESNY. He previously worked as a Rutgers and Giants (and Mike Francesa) beat reporter for NJ Advance Media.