Robinson Canó suspended for all of 2021
For a second consecutive day the baseball world got a surprise announcement out of nowhere that shook up what this offseason could look like. On Tuesday, that was Theo Epstein stepping down from his role with the Cubs. On Wednesday, it was Robinson Canó testing positive for a PED. Since it was the second positive test of his career, the Mets veteran second baseman will miss all of the 2021 season. He will not appeal the suspension.
It’s hard to know where to even start with this story. Canó is obviously a familiar player to Red Sox fans, as he spent the early portion of his career with the Yankees as one of the better players in baseball before leaving for Seattle in free agency. More recently, prior to the 2019 season, Canó was sent from Seattle back to New York to play for the Mets this time around. After struggling in that first season with the Mets, he had a big bounce back in the shortened 2020 campaign, finishing with a 141 wRC+, his highest since 2013. Of course, that is all called into question now after this positive test.
Also called into question is his legacy. Everyone’s mileage on PEDs seems to vary these days, but there’s no doubt there’s at least some effect on the legacy of Canó, who was a potential Hall of Famer and one of the best second basemen of his generation. By fWAR, he’s already a fringe candidate based solely on the numbers. It seems pretty much impossible he’ll make it now.
As far as the Red Sox angle in all of this goes, there are two fronts from which we can examine this news. First, in the present-day, the Mets now have a different offseason in front of them with $24 million suddenly freed up from the payroll. They could not potentially be in the market for a second baseman, too, which is a market the Red Sox are likely to be involved with as well. That’s no guarantee, however. It’s also possible that they move Jeff McNeil to second and use that money elsewhere, but that elsewhere would likely be the outfield or the rotation, two spots at which the Red Sox will also be looking for upgrades. So, it’s not great for Boston that a team with similar holes suddenly has more money to spend.
There’s also the Dustin Pedroia part of all this. Using this news to boost Pedroia is mostly tongue-in-cheek, but anyone who watched the Red Sox in the late aughths and early 2010s knows the mini rivalry between Pedroia and Canó within the bigger Red Sox/Yankees rivalry. Red Sox fans can take a little victory lap here with a second PED test. It may not be fair, but this is supposed to be fun, last I checked at least.