The Braves announced that they’ve selected the contract of veteran second baseman Robinson Cano, just hours after acquiring him from the Padres in exchange for cash. Fellow infield veteran Phil Gosselin was designated for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man and 26-man rosters. Atlanta also reinstated Adam Duvall from the paternity list and optioned first baseman Mike Ford to Triple-A Gwinnett.
Cano, 39, was suspended for the entire 2021 season after the second positive PED test of his 17-year Major League career. Once a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate who looked like a surefire Hall of Famer (prior to the multiple PED bans), Cano is in the penultimate season of a ten-year, $240MM contract signed with the Mariners prior to the 2014 season. He’s been released by both the Mets and the Padres this season thanks to an awful .149/.182/.189 batting line through 77 trips to the plate, but Cano did post a strong .333/.375/.479 slash in 104 Triple-A plate appearances for the Padres’ top affiliate this year.
Now back in the NL East, Cano will help his former division rival try to overtake his former club in a potential revenge series this weekend. For the time being, he’ll give Atlanta a platoon partner at second base for the righty-swinging Orlando Arcia — though it stands to reason that if Cano’s form resembles his output with the Padres and Mets from earlier in the year, the leash will be quite short. The Braves are biding their time until Ozzie Albies can return from a fractured foot, but he’s likely still more than a month out.
Gosselin, 33, had a nice run in Triple-A Gwinnett this season but hasn’t hit much in a tiny sample of 24 big league plate appearances (.261/.292/.261). He’s spent parts of ten seasons in the Majors, so teams generally know what they’re getting with him at this point. Gosselin will generally hit for a passable batting average but doesn’t walk or hit for power. He’s capable of playing just about anywhere on the diamond and is a solid defender at multiple infield positions, making him a nice veteran to have on hand as a depth option. The Braves will have a week to trade Gosselin, release him or try to pass him through outright waivers. Even if he goes unclaimed on waivers, he can reject an outright assignment in favor of free agency.