The news that came down yesterday that Robinson Cano received a year long suspension without pay for his second PED use violation will affect the Met off-season plans if for no other reason than his 2021 salary is off the books and can be added to the payroll budget but how does that affect the team’s off-season plans?
Based on what the Met current roster looks like if no off-season additions were made I would think Jeff McNeil will man third base while Andres Gimenez can play second base, You also have JD Davis in the mix for the hot corner and he could also play left field on the days you want to rest Brandon Nimmo against a tough southpaw.
Or the Mets could search for an infielder in the free agent pool and that group included DJ LeMahieu, Kolten Wong, Dee Gordon, Justin Turner, or even Daniel Murphy. But remember despite Cano being off the books in 2021 the Mets are still on the hook for the years 2022 and 2023 minus the amount the Mariners are picking up in salary.
And when you factor in the other needs for the team like catcher, center field, and starting pitching I firmly believe this suspension benefits both Andre Gimenez and even Amed Rosario who may have a chance to reclaim some playing time. Of course, this could also open up the possibility of exploring a Francisco Lindor trade which could construct a Met infield of Alonso or Dom Smith at first (whomever does not play will DH provided the DH stays in the NL) Gimenez at second, Lindor At Short and McNeil at third. With all due respect to the 99 Met infield that could be the best infield in team history.
Likely Rosario would go in a Lindor Trade along with other pieces but I get the sense the Cano suspension could gravitate the Mets towards at least talking about a Lindor Trade for 2 reasons: they have money coming off the payroll and they need to re-align their infield.
It will be very interesting to see how the Mets carve out their off-season plans after the news that came out yesterday but I get the sense the 2021 Met roster might actually improve greatly in spite of the Cano news.