Padres expect to have Robinson Cano available against Braves
ATLANTA — Robinson Cano is in Atlanta and is expected to be in a Padres uniform at Truist Park and be available to play against the Braves on Friday.
The team and the 39-year-old infielder have agreed on a contract that will pay Cano the major league minimum this season, according to sources. The deal and his availability are pending the standard physical.
The Mets released Cano on Sunday and will pay him the approximately $40 million remaining on the contract he signed with the Mariners in 2014.
Cano was batting .195 with a .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances when he was designated for assignment May 1. He had hit one home run.
The Padres believe taking this low-risk chance on the veteran is prudent because he can provide a left-handed bat off the bench, occasionally serve as designated hitter and potentially work in at second base. One team executive said it was possible Cano was afflicted by the same slow start many Padres hitters have endured the first month of the season.
The team is searching for offense, and playing time will largely be dictated by performance at the plate.
Designated hitter Luke Voit was batting .143/.315/.167 with no home runs when he went on the injured list April 23. He homered twice Wednesday and is 3 for 7 with two walks and four runs scored in his two games since returning from his biceps tendon injury. Shortstop Ha-seong Kim has been hitting the ball hard but has just four hits in his past 36 at-bats.
With CJ Abrams having been optioned to Triple-A and Matt Beaty on the injured list, the Padres are without a bench player that bats from the left side unless one of their regulars that bats left-handed is not in the starting lineup.
Cano, an eight-time All-Star, has hit .302 with an .842 OPS over 17 MLB seasons with the Yankees, Mariners and Mets. The latter acquired him in a trade before the 2019 season, and he batted .269/.315/.450 in 168 games for them.
He sat out part of the 2018 season due to a PED suspension and missed all of 2021 for the same reason. He attributed the first failed test to a diuretic he said was prescribed by a doctor in the Dominican Republic that Cano said he didn't know was banned by MLB. His second positive test was for an anabolic steroid.
The Padres claimed infielder Sergio Alcantara off waivers on Monday, but he has not played in a game. Alcantara being let go would seem the logical move to make room on the roster for Cano.