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NEW YORK — Because the Mets mulled Robinson Canó’s future over the weekend, basic supervisor Billy Eppler gathered all the required data and relayed it to workforce proprietor Steve Cohen.

Eppler advised Cohen that his baseball operations division believed the most effective plan of action could be to designate the slumping Canó for project. Eppler additionally advised Cohen that doing so would imply consuming the roughly $37.5 million remaining on Canó’s contract. Cohen would want to pay these {dollars} by hook or by crook.

Cohen absorbed the knowledge, then advised his GM: “Make the baseball determination.”

It could look like a easy idea, but it surely’s one which egos and economics typically forestall from occurring. Again and again, groups round baseball hold onto getting older stars due to the cash owed them. The Mets have been responsible on loads of events.

However Cohen’s Mets are one thing totally different, partly as a result of their proprietor is value a reported $17 billion. Cohen’s Mets merely wish to win.

On Monday, that meant jettisoning Canó in order that they may maintain Dominic Smith, Luis Guillorme. J.D. Davis and Travis Jankowski on their roster. Canó was batting simply .195/.233/.268 in 43 plate appearances. The Mets additionally optioned reliever Yoan López to Triple-A Syracuse to adjust to MLB’s leaguewide roster measurement discount from 28 to 26 gamers.

“You couldn’t ask for a greater assist than Steve’s given us,” supervisor Buck Showalter mentioned. “You may inform how a lot he loves the Mets and the followers. He trusts the selections being made.”

That doesn’t imply this determination was straightforward. For Eppler, who first met Canó when each labored for the Yankees within the mid-2000s, the choice was an emotional one — for causes fully unrelated to cash. For different Mets gamers, the information was troublesome to abdomen. For all his baggage, for all of his struggles, Canó remained a popular determine throughout the clubhouse partitions.

Shortly after Eppler and Showalter advised Canó that they’d designate him for project late Sunday night, the clubhouse took on a funereal tone.

“Particularly Robbie Canó — he’s been round for thus lengthy on this recreation,” Davis mentioned. “He’s been an icon right here in New York. And he’s been a centerpiece on this clubhouse. He’s been a pacesetter. To lose him undoubtedly takes somewhat little bit of wind out of our sails.”

Canó got here to the Mets together with nearer Edwin Díaz in a Dec. 2018 commerce — the primary important transaction of Brodie Van Wagenen’s tenure as basic supervisor. Given Canó’s superior age on the time — he was getting into his age-36 season — the deal was met with important skepticism. It grew to become even much less common as Canó struggled in 2019 and, two years later, he obtained a full-season suspension for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug coverage.

Nonetheless, Canó’s inclusion on the Mets’ Opening Day roster was by no means doubtful, partly as a result of MLB guidelines stipulated that groups may carry 28 gamers for the month of April. The deadline to slim rosters to 26 was midday ET on Monday, forcing the workforce’s determination. The membership may have optioned Smith, Guillorme or Davis to the Minors, giving it extra time to guage Canó. As an alternative, the Mets selected to designate Canó for project and eat the vast majority of the $40.5 million they owe him by way of 2023.

So ended the rocky tenure of Canó, who was on a Corridor of Fame arc earlier than testing constructive for PEDs a primary time with the Mariners in 2018. A second constructive take a look at with the Mets seemingly destroyed any remaining probability Canó may need needed to enter Cooperstown, regardless of his profession .302/.352/.490 slash line with 335 homers, 571 doubles and 1,305 RBIs.

Canó stays best-known for his 9 seasons with the Yankees, which included 5 All-Star appearances and a World Collection title in 2009.

The Mets technically have seven days to commerce Canó or place him on outright waivers, and Eppler mentioned he would do the whole lot potential to accommodate the getting older star — probably a commerce, however in any other case an opportunity to play within the Minors or to obtain his launch.

Given Canó’s wage, want for taking part in time and recognition all through the sport, a launch is the most definitely final result. At that time, any workforce may signal Canó for the MLB minimal, with the Mets paying off the remainder of his wage.

“I’m positive he’s anyone that 5 years, 10 years from now, I’m going to run into him on the island, or run into him in Florida or New York or someplace, and we’ll share in some good reminiscences collectively,” Eppler mentioned. “However final night time wasn’t one among them.”

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