The offseason acquisition of Robinson Cano received some mixed reviews from New York Mets fans. Although he’s not the star he once was, there is a reason to embrace him as a member of the boys in Flushing.
When the New York Mets acquired Robinson Cano from the Seattle Mariners during the offseason, it sparked a lot of reactions from the Mets fanbase. The reactions ranged from excited to sharpening the pitchforks and seeking out the front office.
One could see why both reactions would be valid when the trade went through for the eight-time All-Star. On one side the Mets acquired a two-time Gold Glove second baseman who is one of the more consistent hitters in all of baseball.
On the other side, they also just acquired a 36-year-old player who is coming off a year where he missed 81 games due to a PED suspension. We should also mention the Mets gave up the highly touted prospect in Jarred Kelenic to get him.
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Whether you like the trade or not, the truth is Cano is going to be an important piece to the Mets season in 2019. Met fans should start to embrace him in the orange and blue.
One reason fans should embrace Cano is that he is going to be one of the most consistent players on the field. Baseball is a game of streaks and no one knows streaky players as Mets fans do. But Cano has found a way to put up the same numbers year in and year out. Having a batting average of .280 or higher for 10 straight seasons and only posting an average below .280 once in his 14-year career.
A major argument some fans decide to make is that Cano is getting old and that the Mets are notorious for bringing in old players whose careers are over. But when you look at the numbers Cano has put up the same numbers even after his age 30 season. In his age 33 season, Cano had 39 home runs and 103 RBI and followed it up in his age 34 season with 23 home runs and 97 RBI. He also had 33 doubles in both of those seasons and an OPS of .882 and .791 respectively.
Many will say he won’t play the same number of games as he has in the past because his body is breaking down, but there’s also no proof of him slowing down. At 32, he played 156 games. Cano followed this up by playing in 161 games the next season and 150 in the year after that. The Mets will probably look to give him more sporadic days off in 2019 especially since they have the depth to do so, but it’s not like Cano can’t give them at least 150 starts.
The 2018 campaign was a down year for Cano as he only played 80 games for Seattle. He was dealing with an injury and an 81 game suspension which cost him almost half the season. But what was shocking was that in the 80 games he played, his numbers were almost as good as his 2017 numbers.
He finished 2017 with 23 home runs, 97 RBI, and 33 doubles in 592 at-bats. He finished 2018 with 11 home runs, 50 RBI, and 22 doubles in 310 at-bats. Had Cano played a full season, we could have seen yet another All-Star selection for the second baseman.
Many fans are concerned that Cano is under contract for five more seasons, and yes it’s hard to predict what Cano will do when he reaches 40. However, the Mets have made it clear they are trying to win right now, and that is what Cano offers, a chance to win right now.
It does not matter that Cano used to play for the Yankees as lots of players have played for both teams. It does not matter that Cano was suspended for PED use, as the Mets have given many second chances to players. Cano is very happy to be back in New York as he has stated many times over the offseason.
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Mets fans should do the right thing and embrace the man who can help the Mets achieve their goal.