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Mets: Robinson Cano is worse than “Roberto Alomar all over again”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 28: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Mets watches the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 28: Robinson Cano #24 of the New York Mets watches the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 28, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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It’s going to take a far greater effort from Robinson Cano to outplay the already disappointing performance Roberto Alomar provided the New York Mets.

When the New York Mets acquired Robinson Cano this past offseason, immediately there were comparisons made to other second basemen from the franchise’s history who were busts. Carlos Baerga is one name often mentioned. A more appropriate comparison to Cano is Roberto Alomar.

When the Mets acquired Alomar in a trade with the Cleveland Indians prior to the 2002 season, he was already in his mid-30s. However, he was coming off a stellar campaign and the final of his more than a decade long streak of All-Star baseball. Perhaps the biggest issue fans had with Alomar was not the performance but how far he dropped off from his final year with Cleveland and first in New York.

In his year and a half with the Mets, Alomar accumulated 957 plate appearances. He slashed .265/.333/.370 which were pretty evenly matched in both 2002 and 2003. For a second baseman in Cooperstown, these numbers aren’t desirable. Thinking of him as an average second baseman and they’re not nearly as bad.

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I think in 2019 if the Mets were to get numbers like these from Cano we might feel a lot better. Before landing on the IL, Cano had slashed .241/.287/.371. More important than these numbers which offer only a limited sample for Cano, it’s how much was given up to land each.

The Alomar trade isn’t regarded as a historically bad one. All players involved were either near the end of their career, such as Matt Lawton, or prospects who never panned out. See Alex Escobar for the latter.

Meanwhile, the Cano trade’s early returns are incredibly poor. Not only has he underperformed but so has closer Edwin Diaz. Over in the Seattle Mariners’ organization, Justin Dunn has pitched well and Jarred Kelenic is putting together a season which could raise his stock incredibly over the next year.

I understand this trade has several moving parts. Notably, the money swapped between the two organizations.

The Mariners were willing to take on Jay Bruce and Anthony Swarzak in the trade as well, which does count for something. Strictly based on baseball playing ability, this is one that will hurt far more than Alomar ever did.

Cano is already older than when Alomar joined the team and he’s owed a contract that even with inflation is a lot less appealing. The Mets were even able to trade him to the Chicago White Sox for three minor leaguers. Though the trade didn’t amount to much, it’s unimaginable that they could move Cano without eating a huge portion of his salary even for a low-level prospect without a big league future.

Next. Top 10 seasons by Mets first basemen

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Alomar fell off a cliff when he joined the Mets, but he never smashed into the ground. Cano has four more years after this. During this time, it’s tough to imagine he outplays Alomar and the low standard he set.

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