NEW YORK – Robinson Canó was cut Monday by the New York Mets with nearly $45 million remaining on his contract, ending an ill-fated marriage and perhaps signaling the end of his decorated major league career.
The slumping Canó was designated for assignment in a move announced about an hour before teams were required to trim their active rosters from 28 players to 26. Relegated to a part-time role this season, Canó was a casualty of the crunch as the first-place Mets chose to keep younger, more versatile bench players instead.
The 39-year-old Canó, who sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs, is batting .195 (8 for 41) with one home run, three RBIs and a paltry .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances. He has appeared in 12 of 23 games, starting six at second base and five at designated hitter.
An eight-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner, Canó spent his first nine big league seasons across town with the New York Yankees and helped them win the 2009 World Series. He has won five Silver Slugger awards and was MVP of the 2017 All-Star Game.
Canó has a .302 career batting average with 335 home runs, 1,305 RBIs and an .842 OPS. He has 2,632 hits, including 571 doubles.
Canó is owed $44,703,297 by the Mets from the remainder of the $240 million, 10-year contract he signed with Seattle. He has lost $36,258,065 because of the two drug suspensions.
New York has seven days to trade or release Canó, or send him outright to the minors — an assignment he would have the right to refuse because he has at least three years of major league service.
Because of his hefty salary, it’s highly unlikely another team would claim him on waivers. A club that did would be responsible for his full salary. But if he is released by the Mets, a team could sign him for a prorated share of the $700,000 minimum this season and also pay the $710,000 minimum in 2023.
Seattle remains responsible for a final $3.75 million payment to the Mets this Dec. 1, part of $20 million the Mariners agreed to pay New York at the time they sent Canó to the Mets as part of a polarizing trade in December 2018.
In addition to cutting Canó, the Mets optioned right-handed reliever Yoan López to Triple-A Syracuse ahead of Monday night’s series opener against the World Series champion Atlanta Braves at Citi Field.
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.
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