Blog Entry

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Posted on: January 12, 2012 10:35 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 10:50 pm

By Matt Snyder

As we continue the final trek toward spring training, we also continue the series that's gonna get us there. Our first installment of Who Would You Rather Have got some pretty good discussion going, as it pitted Roy Halladay against Justin Verlander. I believe we have an equally tough decision in front of us this time around, too.

For this installment, we look to baseball's most intense rivalry ... specifically the second basemen: Robinson Cano and Dustin Pedroia. I feel compelled to point out that we seemed to get a lot of non-answers on Twitter and in the comments (like "Tim Lincecum" to the Verlander vs. Halladay question), and I'm thinking those people didn't understand that this is an ongoing series. I can assure you that many big names from across America -- like Lincecum -- will be included at some point. You'll also have a decision between two young NL West sluggers Saturday, for example. Patience ...

Anyhow, it's Cano vs. Pedroia now. Red Sox vs. Yankees. Beantown vs. the Bronx. Let's get it on.

The case for Cano

While he was already a very good hitter, Cano has developed into one of the most feared hitters in baseball over the past two seasons, finishing in the top six of MVP voting both times. His triple slash line of .311/.365/.533 from 2010-11 is a beauty for a second baseman, not to mention the 28 homers, 46 doubles, 118 RBI and 104 runs he posted last season. It was good enough for Cano to bring home the Silver Slugger for the second consecutive season.

A model of durability as well, Cano hasn't played in less than 159 games in any of the past five seasons. Pedroia only managed 75 games in an injury-plagued 2010 season, so that's a point for Cano.

The case for Pedroia

On the other hand, Pedroia played in 157, 154 and 159 games, respectively, in three of the past four seasons, so it's not like he's injury prone. Pedroia, the 2007 Rookie of the Year, also won the 2008 MVP. And Pedroia can do it all. He hit 21 home runs last season while stealing 26 bases and also winning a Gold Glove (his second). His .307/.387/.474 line is competitive with Cano's, too. Where Pedroia has a bit less home-run power, he makes up for it by getting on base. He holds a .373 to .347 advantage in career OBP.

Pedroia has one World Series ring, but so does Cano.

Cano will make $14 million in 2012 while Pedroia will make $8 million, but Pedroia's salary increases in the next several years while Cano is a free agent after a 2013 club option. Age is a veritable wash, as Cano is roughly 10 months older.

Really, any which way you can divide this up, it's a very close call. Many advanced defensive metrics show Pedroia with a significant edge in range, hence the 2011 Fielding Bible award -- meaning the stat crowd views him as the best defensive second baseman in all of baseball. Cano is viewed as no better than average defensively from that perspective. Cano did win the 2010 AL Gold Glove, but Gold Glove voting has produced dubious results at times -- like Rafael Palmeiro taking the honors in 1999 while playing only 28 games in the field. Unlike many younger bloggers and writers, I don't totally discount the Gold Glove, but I do trust the Fielding Bible awards more. Of course, using either one gives the defensive edge to Pedroia -- and you could argue Cano only won the 2010 Gold Glove because Pedroia was hurt anyway, which I would.

Our call

I'm going to go with Pedroia here in a photo finish, the closest of calls, based upon the defensive separation. The two are very close across the board. Just as with yesterday's pick, I could go either way and there definitely isn't a wrong answer. In fact, we have over 20 of these posts lined up, and this may well be the hardest choice among them.

But now it's your turn. Vote and comment away.

Fan Vote:

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Since: Dec 26, 2006
Posted on: February 1, 2012 1:01 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

cano can be a bit lazy at times fielding, but he has the strongest arm i have seen at second base. his cross body throws are amazing. pedroia arm is not even close and they both have the same range. different type of hitters. cano short porch and pedroia green monster. i will take cano and move pedroia to the outfield on my team.

Since: Oct 17, 2010
Posted on: January 29, 2012 7:03 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

"go with Pedroia here in a photo finish".  LOL.  C'mon, man!  Obviously just trying to be controversial to stir things up.  My favorite line here is "Cano is viewed as no better than average defensively from that perspective. Cano did win the 2010 AL Gold Glove".  Average defense wins gold gloves.  Yeah, OK!

Since: Feb 3, 2009
Posted on: January 27, 2012 7:01 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

These two are evenly matched and for all you yankee fans that think cano wins in a landslide are idiots.  Pedroia is slightly better in OBP,walks, K's and stolen bases.  Cano is slightly better in average and slugging percentage. Pedroia is definitely the better defensively.  Either way they are both great and neither team would trade or swap for each other.  They are even at this present time and only time will tell which one will be better in the long run.  This one is way too close tom call!!!!

Since: Dec 11, 2011
Posted on: January 23, 2012 9:54 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Thie article is stupid. One hitter is vastly superior in every way.

If you where to ask two questions:

Which hitter would you take? Cano or Pedroia. Everyone would pick Cano.

Which defensive 2B would you take? Cano or Pedroia. Everyone would pick Cano. 

Ultimately, most managers and GMs would rather have Robinson Cano on their team, as opposed to Pedroia because of Cano's bat.

But to crack-pot, wannabe GM, CBS writers... the need for a defensive second basement clearly gives Pedro the nod over Cano in this aspect.

Cano's bat > Pedroia's bat. To say otherwise would be going against the holy and sacred statistics. 

Since: Feb 6, 2010
Posted on: January 23, 2012 3:25 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Wide left Ericel2... No surprise to see you're wrong again.

BTW, never stated Pedroia was better than Cano... Just goes to show that when it comes to actual research and in this case, actual reading, Ericel2 appears to be a blowhard who won't even take a minute to actually read a post, let alone actually researching his 'facts' before stating same...

Ericel2, let's get your Superbowl prediction so you can be wrong again... Look forward to hearing it. 

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:37 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Ericel2 does apparently know one thing that RTDSuperstar does not know. He knows that Cano is better than Pedroia. He also knows that Cano scares opposing pitchers a lot more than Pedroia does. Finally, he knows that Cano will outperform Pedroia for the next 6 years minimum.
The sarcasm and short temperament that some of you, not all of you, but some of you display is mildly amusing. I'm gonna watch the Ravens beat up on the Pats now. Good luck with Bobby Valetine next year bud.

Since: Feb 6, 2010
Posted on: January 22, 2012 3:21 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Apparently 2 trips to the DL (same season, related to same injury) = 'more times than I care to look up'.

Perhaps if ERICEL2 actually did some research and did 'look up' instead of spouting nonsensical rhetoric, ERICEL2 would also be aware that Cano has in fact been on the DL previously which of course means his 'Cano has never been on the DL' comment further illustrates ERICEL2's disdain for actually 'looking up' information prior to posting. 

Since: Jan 12, 2009
Posted on: January 22, 2012 2:11 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Real people also know that injuries and constant trips to the dl makes you less attractive. Cano has never been on the dl. Pedroia has been there more times than I care to look up. When all is said and done, Cano will have a better career BA, extra base hits, slugging %, all star appearances, (although that last one is a popularity contest so omit if you wish to),  and probably championships as well. Although both men are timely hitters with the game on the line, one guy always gets hurt every year while the other can be penciled in for 600 ab' 

Since: Aug 2, 2011
Posted on: January 19, 2012 6:37 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Based on last years miserable offense by the Angels I would take Cano. Defensively we were sound so wouldn't take Pedroia for that reason.

Since: Jan 18, 2012
Posted on: January 18, 2012 2:54 pm

Would You Rather Have: Cano or Pedroia?

Dig up this article in 10 years if you're in need of a big laugh.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or