The New York Mets DFA’d Robinson Cano on Monday morning. Cano, whose once-storied career is now stained by two suspensions for using performance-enhancing substances, just didn’t perform in 2022 and could not stay on the roster.
Dom Smith and Travis Jankowski have performed well, and made Robinson Cano expendable to the Mets.
Dom Smith had one of the most clutch performances of his career on Sunday night, just hours before the rosters had to be cut. He had four hits (two doubles, two singles), drove in three runs, and scored one. I was at the game on Sunday night, and he looked locked in and comfortable at the plate. I think he’s about to start hitting more and he’ll get more at-bats with Cano gone.
Smith is also the best first baseman on the roster. He’s been mostly DHing because Alonso wants to play the field, but let’s be real, Smith should be the one starting at first everyday with Pete DHing. There is a world where that happens on a more regular basis, and the team will benefit from that. Alonso already has a -3 Outs Above Average, while Smith has a +1.
Travis Jankowski is another guy who has been very important to this Mets roster. He hits, runs the bases, and plays defense well. He only made the roster because MLB expanded them, but he’s played well enough to earn his spot over Cano. After Brandon Nimmo, he’s the best center fielder on the roster. He has been a sneaky-good bench guy that can start a game when someone needs a day off.
On top of all that, the decision to move on from Cano makes one thing very clear: the Mets are committed to having the best available players on the active roster.
Steve Cohen made the choice to continue paying Robinson Cano about $40 million over the next two years even though Cano won’t be providing any value to the team. In fact, depending on if Cano signs with another team, Cano could be playing against the Mets. That shouldn’t scare anyone, just throw fastballs on the inside corner and curveballs in the dirt and he has no chance.