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On Monday, MLB clubs must cut their rosters from 28 players down to 26 players, and one big name has lost his roster spot: Robinson Canó. The New York Mets announced Monday that Canó has been designated for assignment. New York could have sent JD Davis, Luis Guillorme, or Dominic Smith to Triple-A to trim their roster, but instead they cut ties with Canó.

"I wouldn't be happy. I don't want to see that happen," Francisco Lindor told reporters, including Mike Puma of the New York Post, about Canó possibly being released on Sunday. "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."     

Canó, 39, is 8 for 41 (.195) with one home run in 12 games this season. He missed the entire 2021 season while serving a 162-game performance-enhancing drug suspension, the second PED suspension of his career. During the shortened 2020 season Canó authored a .316/.352/.544 batting line with 10 home runs in 49 games.

Robinson Cano
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Acquired from the Seattle Mariners in the Dec. 2018 trade that brought Edwin Díaz to New York and sent Jarred Kelenic (and others) to Seattle, Canó produced a .269/.315/.450 line with the Mets while playing only 169 of 407 possible regular-season games, or 41 percent. That trade was made by former GM Brodie Van Wagenen under former owners Fred and Jeff Wilpon.

New owner Steve Cohen is baseball's wealthiest owner, with a net worth in the $15 billion range, and he has not been shy about spending money on his team. He gave Max Scherzer a record three-year, $130 million contract over the winter and signed several other free agents as well. Now Cohen is using his money to rid the team of an expensive roster headache.

The Mets now have seven days to trade, release, or waive Canó. They owe him $20.25 million in salary this season and next (the Mariners owe him $3.75 million each year as well) and they are still responsible for that money. Given the money involved, Canó will undoubtedly clear waivers and be released. Any team that claims him would assume his entire contract.

Once he is released, any team could sign Canó for the pro-rated portion of the $700,000 league minimum. Several clubs could use help at DH (Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, etc.), though it is certainly possible Canó has played his final MLB game. In that case, he will leave baseball as a career .302/.352/.490 hitter with 2,632 hits and 335 home runs in parts of 17 seasons.

Those numbers, as well as Canó's career 69.1 WAR, more than clear the Hall of Fame bar for second baseman. There is almost no chance Canó is voted into Cooperstown given his two PED suspensions, however.

The Mets come into Monday with the National League's best record at 16-7. Releasing Canó means Jeff McNeil is locked in as the starting second baseman, and Davis and Smith will see increased time at DH.