Robinson Cano Suspended for Entire 2021 Season After Positive PED Test

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Robinson Cano Suspended
  • Cano to miss all of 2021 season after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug
  • This marks the second PED-related suspension for Cano, who missed 80 games in 2018
  • Mets listed at +900 to win NL pennant next season

Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred announced Wednesday that New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano will be suspended for the entirety of the 2021 season. The ban comes after Cano reportedly tested positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.

Cano, 38, will miss all of next season, and he will forfeit his entire $24 million salary. The former All-Star has two years and $48 million remaining on a 10-year, $240 million deal he signed with the Seattle Mariners eight years ago. The Mariners, who traded Cano to the Mets after the 2018 season, are on the hook for $7.5 million of his remaining salary.

This is the second time Cano has been suspended after testing positive for a banned substance. He was banned for 80 games in 2018 after testing positive for a diuretic used to mask a banned substance in his final season with Seattle. Mets GM Sandy Alderson said,

“We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport. The Mets fully support MLB’s efforts toward eliminating performance-enhancing substances from the game.”

Cano’s Resurgent 2020 Season

Cano played in 49 of the Mets’ 60 games during the truncated 2020 season. The veteran slashed .316/.352/.544 with 10 homers and 30 RBI as the Mets missed out on postseason play for the fourth consecutive year. Cano’s uptick in performance was a surprise after he set a new career-low by hitting .256 in 2019, his first year with the Mets. He also homered just 13 times in 107 games that season as he battled hamstring issues.

The Cano trade continues to look even more disastrous for the Mets considering one of the prospects they sent to Seattle, Jarred Kelenic, is one of the game’s brightest young talents. Kelenic will likely make his big league debut next season while Cano will watch from the sidelines.

Cano was expected to assume his usual starting second base spot this season in the team’s first under new owner Steve Cohen. Now, New York will have to find a fill-in either on the free agent or trade market. Or, the Mets can promote from within.

Fortunately, the Mets have other options. Both Andres Gimenez and Jeff McNeil spent time playing out of position last season, but now either of them is available to slide over to vacate Cano’s second base spot.

Mets Still Among NL Favorites

The National League East is one of the most competitive divisions in baseball, so the absence of Cano likely won’t do the Mets any favors with baseball sportsbooks in advance of the 2021 campaign. New York finished a disappointing fourth in the division at 26-34, which was tied with the Nationals for the worst mark in the East.

The Atlanta Braves are one of the betting favorites to win the 2021 World Series after taking the eventual champion Dodgers to seven games in the 2020 NLCS. The Marlins are fresh off a postseason berth of their own, while the Phillies have more than enough talent to push for a playoff spot moving forward.

The Mets are currently listed at +900 to win the National League next season at MLB betting sites, which gives them the fourth-best odds of any team behind the Dodgers (+180), Braves (+425), and upstart Padres (+550). New York is also listed at +1800 to win the title next fall.

Taylor Smith

Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...

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