SEATTLE, WA - OCTOBER 04: Robinson Cano #22 of the Seattle Mariners in action against the Oakland Athletics at Safeco Field on October 4, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The last time I wrote something about Cano, it caused a bit of a stir. That blog was based on speculation that Cano disliked Seattle. This one is based on statements from ex-Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke that he dislikes Cano, and there is a possible disconnect between Cano, the coaching staff, and ownership. You can read the full story here, but I’ve pulled out some of the highlights:
“Robinson Cano cost the GM his job, the hitting coach got fired because of Cano and then the manager and coaches got fired because of Cano, because that’s how much impact he has on the organization,” Van Slyke said during the interview. “He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.”
“Robinson Cano was the single worst third-place everyday player I’ve ever seen, for the first half of a Major League Baseball season,” Van Slyke said, referencing Cano’s batting third in the order. “He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried. He couldn’t do it. He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered. He played the worst defense I’ve ever seen at second. I mean the worst defensive second baseman ever, I’ve ever seen, in 20 years in the big leagues.”
Wow. So it’s safe to say there is no love lost between Cano and Andy Van Slyke, who was apparently working on his comedic chops during that interview. It’s always tricky when you hear comments like this coming from a person in Van Slyke’s shoes. You catch anybody who was recently fired and they’re liable to say negative things about their former employer. But I feel there is truth in Van Slyke’s comments if you sift through the bitterness.
I’m sure he is right when he says that Cano has a big enough impact on the organization to cost people their jobs. That is the risk you run when you pay somebody to be your “savior,” which is what the M’s did. They offered Cano $240M to save the organization. They gave him the keys to the car. When you do that, sometimes the car is going to crash. That is why I thought it was a bad move by Cano from the start. He did not have to be the savior if he stayed in New York, he just had to continue producing at All Star levels (which did not seem to be an issue for him). Instead he chose to be the focal point of an organization and clearly that has caused some problems.
Cano definitely had a down year, I mean he only hit 4 more home runs than Stephen Drew did this season. He is never going to be a guy who gives all-out hustle for 162 games a year. There are times when it looks like he’s lolly-gagging it at second base. He has a certain flair to his game that rubs some people the wrong way. That is something the Mariners are going to have to live with. I think he will have a bounce back season statistically in 2016, because I still think he has prime years left. But there is no doubt in my mind this is going to be a disastrous contract of epic proportions down the road for Seattle. The real question is what is the over/under for number of years before Cano gets traded? I’m putting it at 4.5; so he will be traded at the deadline of the 2020 baseball season. Book it!