With the news of Robinson Cano being suspended for the 2021 season as a result of testing positive for PEDs for the second time in his career, it raises the question of how it shakes up the New York Mets offseason plan.
Going into the 2020-2021 offseason, the New York Mets were looking to be in great shape. They just got a new owner in Steve Cohen worth over $14 billion dollars who did not lose money this season, while every other team was coming off a season where they lost money. They are also set to have multiple large contracts coming off the books to help clear payroll.
Going into the offseason the plan was clear, get pitching help, a catcher, and a centerfielder. With Robinson Cano now out for the entire 2021 season, does it throw a potential wrench into the Mets offseason?
The Mets’ main priorities will still be to acquire pitching help, a catcher, and a centerfielder despite the news about Cano. The only difference the Mets now have is an additional $20M to spend since Cano has to forfeit his salary.
The Mets were already expected to be in on every big free agent before saving the $20M. They are expected to sign at least one and possibly two of J.T. Realmuto, Trevor Bauer, and George Springer. With the extra money, we could possibly see them be able to afford all three or even turn to a direct fill of second base in DJ LeMahieu.
Despite Cano not being able to play, it does not necessarily create a hole on the team. As much as I would love to sign LeMahieu as much as the next fan, I do not see the Mets going after him even though they have a direct fit now.
They were expected to get a centerfielder which will indirectly help fill the hole left by Cano. By acquiring a true centerfielder it allows the Mets to shift Brandon Nimmo to left field where he is better defensively, and then move Jeff McNeil to his natural position at second base, replacing Cano.
Instead of the Mets having a log jam in left field and shifting players around the diamond every day, it allows them to have an every day left fielder in Nimmo and an every day second baseman in McNeil.
With the DH expected to return to the National League in 2021, it allows the Mets to give more at-bats to younger guys like Dominic Smith with Pete Alonso at first instead of finding at-bats for Smith in the outfield, or Davis when the Mets decide on a better defensive team like slotting in Luis Guillorme and Andres Gimenez in the infield. Cano was expected to get at-bats at DH to rest his legs throughout the season, but this now allows the Mets to give those at-bats to younger players.
With Cano missing the entire season, it allows the Mets to have a much more clear look at the offseason and 2021 season. When the Mets do ultimately acquire their center fielder, it gives them a much more clear look of where everyone else will play instead of rotating players on a daily basis.
Although the Amazins do have the flexibility to rotate players as they have, they do not have to now. Going forth with their original offseason plan of acquiring pitching, a catcher, and a center fielder, it allows players such as Nimmo, McNeil, and Smith to all have set positions and spots on the team for 2021.
At the end of the day, the Mets have addition by subtraction by losing Cano next season as it frees up $20M for 2020 and a full-time spot for younger players. Their offseason plan does not seem to change at all since they have the resources and player versatility to fill the hole by Cano. It frees up $20M that the team could spread out around the diamond, in the bullpen, and/or in the rotation, or the Mets could spend it all on one superstar type player in one of their positional needs as previously noted.
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How do you think Cano’s suspension affects the Mets offseason plan?