The Robinson Cano era is over in Queens.
The Mets designated Cano for assignment on Monday as the final move to trim their roster down to 26 players.
The move is a costly one. Cano still had two years and $40.5 million left on his contract entering this season. But the 39-year-old was off to a rough start to the season as a part-time player, posting a slash line of .195/.233/.268 in 43 plate appearances across 12 games (11 starts). He had only been used as a pinch-hitter once.
Cano was the final cut to get down to a 26-man roster by noon on Monday after MLB expanded rosters to 28 for April due to a shortened spring training. Reliever Yoan Lopez, who had been called up on Sunday to replace the injured Sean Reid-Foley, was the other player to get shipped out, returning to Triple-A Syracuse.
Dominic Smith, JD Davis and Luis Guillorme were the other bench players that were candidates to get the boot off the Mets’ roster, with all three still having minor league options left. Cutting Travis Jankowski, the Mets’ speedy fourth outfielder, would have exposed him to waivers.
Cano arrived in Queens in December 2018 as part of then-GM Brodie Van Wagenen’s first big splash. Van Wagenen traded top prospect Jarred Kelenic and four other players for Cano and closer Edwin Diaz. The former Yankees second baseman was coming off an 80-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
After hitting .275 with a .784 OPS in 156 games between 2019 and 2020, Cano was suspended for all of 2021 after testing positive for PEDs for a second time.
The move likely won’t sit well with Francisco Lindor, who said Sunday he “wouldn’t be happy” if the Mets parted ways with Cano.