Robinson Cano Elects Free Agency

Robinson Cano is back on the open market, as the Braves announced this afternoon that he’s elected free agency after passing through outright waivers unclaimed. This was the anticipated outcome once Atlanta designated Canó for assignment in the wake of their acquisition Ehire Adrianza on Monday.

It has been a tumultuous season for Canó, who has now been cut loose by three separate clubs. He started the year with the Mets but was released in May. The Padres signed him to a major league deal a couple of weeks later, but he spent less than three weeks on the roster before being released. He returned to San Diego on a minor league pact, and while he didn’t get back to Petco Park, he did play well enough in Triple-A to catch the Braves’ attention. Atlanta acquired him last month and immediately brought him back to the big leagues.

Canó hasn’t hit well at any of his stops, however, and his stint on each roster has been brief. Between the three clubs, the 39-year-old owns a .150/.183/.190 line with a lone home run through 104 plate appearances. That’s come on the heels of a 2021 campaign wiped out by his second career performance-enhancing drug suspension, making it surprising teams have had such a short leash with Canó scuffing.

The eight-time All-Star tallied a matching 104 trips to the plate with San Diego’s top minor league affiliate in El Paso. He showed far better there, posting a .333/.375/.479 line with a trio of home runs and five doubles. That output was propped up by a .403 batting average on balls in play that he wasn’t likely to sustain, but Canó at least showed decent bat-to-ball skills at the Triple-A level.

If he’s open to another minor league deal to continue playing, Canó could latch on elsewhere for the season’s stretch run. It seems unlikely another team will be willing to let him step right onto the big league roster given his dismal MLB numbers, even though doing so wouldn’t come at any real financial cost. The Mets are on the hook for what remains on Canó’s contract over the next two seasons (with the Mariners chipping in a bit of money). If the 17-year MLB veteran can make it back to the big leagues, a signing team would only pay him the prorated portion of the $700K minimum salary.

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