The Padres have announced that they have signed Robinson Cano to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A El Paso.
It was just over a week ago that Cano lost his spot on the Padres’ roster, with the club reportedly asking Cano to accept a trip to the minors. As a veteran with over five years of MLB service time, Cano had the ability to reject that offer and return to free agency. It appears that he didn’t find any better opportunities on the open market, as he will now indeed report to the Chihuahuas after all.
It’s been a tumultuous season Cano, on the heels of missing the entirety of the 2021 campaign due to a PED suspension. After a mediocre showing of .195/.233/.268 in 12 games to begin the year, he was released by the Mets. Due to the fact that Cano’s contract runs through 2023, any team in the league could sign him for the prorated league minimum, with the Mets covering the bulk of his salary. The Padres, looking for offense but dealing with a budget crunch, stepped up and gave Cano an opportunity. However, his 12 games for the Padres went even worse than his 12 games for the Mets, as he hit just .091/.118/.091, eventually leading to his release.
After all that bouncing around, it seems the goal of this deal is for Cano to get into a groove and see if he can get some of the old magic back. Padres’ manager Bob Melvin explained to Dennis Lin of The Athletic that Cano essentially views it that way. Despite the fact that Cano is 39 years old, he’s not too far removed from being a productive major leaguer. In 2020, he hit .316/.352/.544, wRC+ of 142. Of course, a pessimist could point to the positive PED test and dismiss that line, but regardless, Cano will head to El Paso and see if some regular playing time can get him back on track.