In the past, when we talk about Robinson Cano we think perennial All-Star, best second baseman in the league and a top-10 if not top-five player in Major League Baseball.
Today? Well let’s just say Cano is sort of an afterthought.
In just the second year of his monstrous 10-year, $240 million deal signed after the 2013 season with the Seattle Mariners, Cano is off to his worst start of his career. At the time when he signed his contract, Cano was easily one of the best players in baseball, leading the New York Yankees in pretty much every category for years. In fact, in his final five seasons in the Bronx, Cano had a slash line of .314/.369/.530 while averaging 28 home runs and 103 RBIs per season.
However, this season has been an abomination for Cano and the Mariners are feeling the affects. Cano is hitting a measly .251 with two home runs entering Monday. A guy that gets paid as much as Cano does needs to produce more than that. He knows that and so does Seattle. His two home runs to begin the year are on the side of pathetic. For a guy who averages 23 home runs a year is not putting up the numbers he needs to.
Yet, this might be becoming a trend for the Mariners second baseman. In his first season in Seattle, he hit only 14 home runs. Comparing Yankee Stadium and Safeco Field is impossible. But did Cano’s greatness come from the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium and its 314-foot right field porch? That is hard to tell in just a season and a quarter into his new contract.
But the days when Cano was the most dominant second baseman without question are over. However, being stuck in the upper Northwest is helping Cano in a way. He is not getting much criticism for his early poor performance. If he was in New York, he would hear it from the media and fans day in and day out about how he is not putting up the numbers he should.
From the looks of it, though way too early to tell, it looks like the Yankees finally made a wise choice when it comes to handing out monster contracts. By avoiding this one, they may have saved themselves from a diminished second baseman in just the second year of his contract.