Francisco Lindor ‘wouldn’t be happy’ if Mets cut Robinson Cano as decision looms

Francisco Lindor ‘wouldn’t be happy’ if Mets cut Robinson Cano as decision looms

Before the clock strikes noon on Monday, the governor will have to decide whether Robinson Cano deserves a stay of execution. 

In this case, the governor is general manager Billy Eppler, deciding on a popular veteran within the Mets clubhouse as MLB teams reduce rosters from 28 to 26 players. 

Cano entered Sunday night owning a .195/.233/.268 slash line with one homer and three RBIs in 43 plate appearances since returning from a PED suspension that cost him all of 2021. 

The Mets still owe the 39-year-old second baseman $37 million on a contract that runs through next season. 

“I wouldn’t be happy,” Francisco Lindor said, when asked about the possibility Cano will get dumped. “I don’t want to see that happen. He’s a good teammate, a good person and obviously he’s got a great track record and we all know what he’s capable of doing. I don’t care how old he is, the mind is still fresh and he can still hit.” 

Francisco Linor (front) embraces Robinson Cano (back).

Lindor was asked what he’s seen from Cano, who has started only once in the Mets’ last five games. Cano has been a part-time player, shifting between second base and DH. 

“The inconsistency is coming because he’s not in there every day,” Lindor said. “He’s been a guy, his whole career, and he’s in a new role. He didn’t play last year and he’s in a new role right now so that is what is happening. He really hasn’t adjusted to the new role that he has.” 

Manager Buck Showalter indicated in all likelihood the Mets will remove one pitcher before the deadline, leaving them with 14. The most obvious candidate for departure is Yoan Lopez, who was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse on Sunday to replace Sean Reid-Foley, who has been diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. 

That leaves the question whether the Mets will release Cano or send a player with options to Syracuse (Dominic Smith, J.D. Davis and Luis Guillorme are the candidates from that group). Travis Jankowski has emerged as a dependable backup outfielder whom Showalter and Eppler like and does not have minor league options remaining. If the Mets were to designate him for assignment he would have to clear waivers before he could return to the organization. 

Smith entered Sunday with a .167/.295/.194 slash line with four RBIs in 44 plate appearances and essentially serves as a duplicate to Cano as a left-handed DH bat. The Mets entertained the possibility of trading Smith to the Padres during spring training, but ultimately retreated from a deal that would have yielded pitcher Chris Paddack. 

Robinson Cano has struggled to start the 2022 season.
Corey Sipkin for the NY POST

Davis and Guillorme appear safe because they fill specific roles as a right-handed bat off the bench and backup shortstop, respectively. 

Jankowski, who arrived on a minor league contract during spring training, said he has “no worries” about losing his roster spot. 

“I know my role,” Jankowsi said. “Fourth-outfielder type, where it’s just go in and be a defensive replacement late in the game, go steal a bag, score from first on a double. It’s one of those things that is vital in this game. It’s needed for a winning team. Hopefully it’s continuing to go in this game and trend in this direction.” 

Showalter indicated the subject of the roster cuts has been significantly discussed, with Eppler seeking input from all corners. 

“It’s tough, because we have good people and good players and Billy has been on this since spring training,” Showalter said. “We have been talking about it. Billy is a great gatherer of information from people and solicits a lot of opinions and great listener and take it all in and at the end of the day I feel like everybody will feel like they have had some input. That is all you ask.”

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