Padres Add 8-Time All-Star Cano on Major League Deal

San Diego takes a chance on 39-year-old infielder

This is interesting.

The Padres, in need of more consistent offensive pop in the lineup, have signed Robinson Cano to a Major League contract. Cano is certainly a household name.

He’s put up arguably the best offensive numbers of any 2nd baseman in the history of Major League Baseball. Over 17 seasons he’s won five Silver Slugger awards while hitting .302 and only Jeff Kent has more homers at the position. The eight-time All-Star also won a Home Run Derby.

But, he’s never going to be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Cano has been suspended multiple times, including the entire 2021 season, for using performance-enhancing drugs. The 39-year-old got off to an extremely slow start with the Mets this year so they basically cut him instead of seeing if he can shake off the rust of a missed season.

He still has two years and $37 million left on his contract, but the Padres will be paying him less than $600,000 for the rest of the season. The Mets are on the hook for the rest of it, and that’s one of the reasons the Friars are taking a chance on Cano.

They’re very close to the Competitive Balance Tax threshold so adding the aging star to see if he can find anything left in the tank is a low-risk, potentially high reward move. He’ll likely see time as a designated hitter while getting some reps at 2nd base.

To make room on the roster San Diego sent struggling reliever Dinelson Lamet down to Triple-A El Paso. Lamet finished 4th in the Cy Young balloting in 2020 but at the end of that year was sidelined with elbow issues. The Padres moved him to the bullpen hoping his high-octane stuff (he throws a high-90’s fastball and a wipeout slider, the classic closer combination) would be a back-end of the rotation weapon but that has not been the case. Lamet has pitched to a 9.72 ERA in 10 relief appearances.

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