Mets Mailbag: Does Robinson Cano make the Opening Day roster?

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  • New York Mets
    New York Mets
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  • Robinson Canó
    Robinson Canó
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  • Starling Marte
    Starling Marte
    Baseball player
Robinson Cano batting vs. Braves
Robinson Cano batting vs. Braves

SNY's Andy Martino will be responding to and breaking down answers to Mets questions from readers. Here's the latest...

Does Cano make the opening day roster or does he get released prior? - @Derek_K21

If Robinson Cano shows up to spring training and looks washed, then there is no reason for the Mets to carry him. But that can’t be the de facto plan.

Cano is a complex figure inside the game. Some players resent him for his serial flouting of the joint drug agreement, but others admire him as a clubhouse leader and incredibly savvy player.

Remember when Starling Marte cited, unprompted, Cano’s presence on the roster as a major reason why he signed with the Mets?

“I always said that I wanted to be his teammate,” Marte said when the team introduced him. “And now that I had the opportunity to do so, I decided to take it … I always look forward to having conversations with him and just to continue learning from him.”

Now, if the Mets cut Cano, Marte will not rush to give back the $78 million. But he clearly wants to play with Cano -- and he’s right, there are legitimate baseball things to learn from him. Just not details of the drug policy.

For example, Cano’s knowledge of how to play sophisticated defense -- skills ranging from the reading of swings to knowing each opponent well enough to position himself perfectly -- rubs off on other infielders.

That high baseball IQ has also slowed his inevitable decline at the position, making up for some of the range he has lost.

So, the Mets will see what he has, whenever spring training starts. Cano won’t exactly be the first guy to come back after taking banned substances.