The Mets were in the news yesterday as they announced the hiring of Jim Riggleman as the new bench coach.
A good move by the club, who should have hired a former manager like Riggleman a year ago. More importantly, at 66, Riggleman has proven to be a better bench coach than a manager, even with over 1500 games under his belt as skipper.
But the Mets are not done yet. Andy Martino of SNY reported today a rival executive has said the Mets were very aggressive in pursuit of acquiring Mariners all-star second baseman Robinson Cano.
General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen should just say no to Robinson Cano.
Look, the Mets could use a big bat in the middle of the lineup and any trade for Cano would probably shed the contract of Jay Bruce from the roster, but there are just too many red flags when it comes to former Yankee All-Star.
First and foremost, Cano was suspended for 80 games last year for the use of performance enhancing drugs. That alone should have the Mets shy away for the second baseman. You have to wonder how many of his numbers were tainted over the years and now, facing a full year suspension if he tests positive again would he be able to put up the same numbers staying clean.
And that may not be a very easy proposition either, since Cano is 36 and frankly on the downside of his career. His contract is still massive with five years left and $120 million owed. Even if Seattle eats a large chunk of that – say $50 million – do the Mets really want Cano on the roster at his age 40 and 41 seasons being owed eight figures a year?
Sure, Cano is a productive player right now. In 80 games last year, he hit .303 with 10 homers and 50 RBI and that’s in the Citi Field comparable Safeco Field in Seattle. But players over 35 tend to break down and slow down and you can’t expect him to keep up that type of production as he approaches 40.
Now can you expect him to stay on the field. A second baseman by trade, he probably will have to move to first base before the end of the contract. Remember the Mets don’t have the luxury of playing Cano at DH, so as he gets less mobile they will have to stick him somewhere. If Jeff McNeil and Peter Alonso are the future at second and first, respectively, then where will they play Cano?
And finally, the Mets need righthanded hitting. With Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo in the lineup, they are lopsided on the lefty side and adding Cano just gives them another lefty bat.
You have to like Van Wagenen’s aggressiveness here and it’s refreshing to see the Mets looking to spend, but getting Cano now reminds me of 2002, when they traded for Mo Vaughn. He was over the hill and wasn’t very productive for the Mets. This trade would not be making a splash, rather taking a risk, no matter what else comes back in the trade.
There’s a reason why Seattle is trying to dump Cano, the Mets should pass and look elsewhere for a major lineup upgrade.
The Mets should just say no to Robinson Cano.