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Robinson Cano tests positive for PED, will be suspended for 2021 season

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The news comes as a shock.

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Mets second baseman Robinson Cano has tested positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol and will be suspended for the entire 2021 MLB season, according to sources close to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Cano will forfeit his entire 2021 salary of $24 million, $20 million of which the Mets were on the hook for. This is Cano’s second suspension for PEDs, as the veteran missed 80 games during the 2018 season after testing positive for Furosemide.

In a statement following the news, Sandy Alderson said:

We were extremely disappointed to be informed about Robinson’s suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The violation is very unfortunate for him, the organization, our fans, and the sport.

The Mets acquired Cano in the now-infamous deal with the Mariners in 2019 that netted the team Cano plus closer Edwin Diaz in return for a package centered around prospect Jarred Kelenic. After an injury-plagued 2019 season, Cano rebounded nicely during the shortened 2020 campaign and proved to be an effective hitter once again. The second baseman slugged 10 home runs and slashed .316/.352/.544 with a 144 wRC+ and a 1.3 fWAR in 49 games.

If there is one bit of good news for the Mets, it’s that this suspension happened early in the offseason, with plenty of time to address the hole at second baseman before the upcoming season. The Mets can likely slot Jeff McNeil back at second base, which is his natural position. The Mets will also save $20 million, which they can use to pursue some free agents in a winter when many teams have already shown they will not be willing to spend.