Wednesday in Mets camp, Robinson Canó spoke with reporters for the the first time since his second PED suspension, which shelved him for the entire 2021 season. He was apologetic and didn't want to make excuses, but he also wasn't very interested in elaborating much.
"I'm here to apologize, first of all to the Mets organization, to my teammates, the fans, and you guys," Canó said to reporters (via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com). "There's no excuses for how and why."
Canó was asked why he took the chance in using substances after having already failed a first test, in addition to if he could guarantee there wouldn't be positive tests in the future, and he said the following (DiComo):
"Well, I'm here. That's why I'm here as a man, to give you guys an apology. It was tough for me this past year, being at home."
It would greatly behoove Canó to avoid a third positive PED test. Under the Joint Drug Agreement between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, a failed test costs a player 80 games, a second failed test costs him a full 162 and a third carries with it a lifetime ban.
Not only would that cost Canó a truckload of money -- he's still due $48 million over the final two years of his contract -- but it would carry with it the stigma of a lifetime ban in addition to preventing post-playing career employment in the game.
Canó is now 39 years old. He was initially suspended as a member of the Mariners in 2018. He was then traded to the Mets prior to the 2019 season and had a subpar season. In 49 games in 2020, he hit .316/.352/.544 (143 OPS+) with 10 homers and 30 RBI, but then there was the lost 2021 season due to his failed drug test.
At present, Canó might find himself getting a portion of the Mets' DH at-bats, though it remains crowded. Jeff McNeil looks slotted for everyday work at second base with the outfield full (Mark Canha, Starling Marte, Brandon Nimmo), Eduardo Escobar at third and Pete Alonso at first. That leaves a DH spot for Cano, J.D. Davis and Dominic Smith. Smith and Canó both hit lefty while Davis swings right-handed.
Canó has played in parts of 16 seasons in his career. The suspensions likely cost him a shot at 3,000 hits, as he has 2,624 right now. He's hit .303 with a 126 OPS+, 571 doubles, 334 homers, 1,302 RBI, 1,257 RBI, eight All-Star trips, five Silver Sluggers, two Gold Gloves and a World Series championship.
If not for the PED suspensions, we'd be discussing the twilight years of a Hall of Famer right now. Note the 3,000-hit mention above, but Canó also sits seventh in JAWS among second basemen and 10th in WAR.