One of the biggest question marks for the New York Mets going into the 2022 season is what can they expect from second baseman Robinson Cano should he be on the Opening Day roster? While it seems more likely than not that Cano will be on the 26-man roster, many Mets fans may be forgetting the production that the 39-year old second baseman had been capable of during the 2020 season prior to his suspension.
Cano was hitting .316/.352/.544 with an OPS of .896 over 182 plate appearances. Cano has also spent some time in the Dominican Winter League this offseason, in-between making a music video cameo for Reggaeton superstar Anuel AA, and slashed a batting average of .300 over 43 plate appearances.
While the sample size is small, Cano is still proving he may have some magic left in his bat, which could provide huge for the Mets this season especially with the Designated Hitter most likely coming to the National League.
Should Robinson Cano pick up where he left off with the 2020 Mets team, he could provide a jolt of offense for a team that was sorely lacking any semblance of offense last season.
The second base position still may be a bit unsettled with Jeff McNeil rumored to be on the trade block this winter. Depending on how that situation shakes out, Cano could either slide back into his natural starting position or he may become one of the Mets' most valuable assets off the bench.
The Mets had one of the best benches in all of baseball last season that carried the club through most of the season while the roster was overrun with injury after injury. Having a deep bench this season will be a key for the Mets to have sustained success. Whether or not Cano receives a starting spot, his value on this year's club could ultimately be tied to being the top bat off the bench in key situations should the Mets make some more moves this offseason.
Things are still a bit unsettled with the roster makeup going into Spring Training due to Major League Baseball's current lockout. However, it would be tough for even Billionaire Owner Steve Cohen to eat the remaining $48 million that is currently left on Cano's contract for the next two seasons.
That reasoning alone makes him a viable option for the Mets going into next season in some capacity as long as he is productive. I firmly believe new Manager Buck Showalter will also put Cano in positions to succeed early on in the season to see how he responds as well as to evaluate how much he may have left to give the organization.
Another aspect we must not forget is Cano's strong sense of leadership. I believe a big reason for the Mets midseason collapse last season was the lack of leadership in the clubhouse, which led to a wide variety of incidents, and Cano is still one of the most respected voices in the game despite the two PED suspensions.
If you need any further evidence on his potential impact, new centerfielder Starling Marte had revealed that he had signed with the Mets in large part due to his desire to play alongside Cano which speaks volumes.
There is no doubt that there will need to be a formal apology made to the current players in the clubhouse and most importantly to all of the fans this spring for his actions back in 2020. But without question, there is still the potential for a chance that Robinson Cano could make a lasting impact on the Mets as they look to compete for a potential World Series title in 2022.
As we saw last season, you can never have too many bodies ready to play, especially capable Major Leaguers, and Cano could provide the Mets that option despite the current outside noise. Picking up where he left off offensively in 2020 will make most fans forget about his previous transgressions if the team is winning, and as all of us know winning always will cure all problems.