Robinson Canó was just 19 years old in 2001 when he signed an amateur free agent contract with the New York Yankees that came with a $100,000 signing bonus.
Over the next few years, Robinson put up impressive numbers while playing for a variety of minor league teams in the Yankees' organization. He was finally called up to the majors in May 2005. He proceeded to spend eight seasons with the Yankees.
During his eight major league seasons with the Yankees, Robinson hit 204 home runs and sported a .309 batting average. He was a five-time All-Star, a five-time Silver Slugger Award winner, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and the 2013 World Baseball Classic MVP. And, most importantly, in 2009 Robinson and the Yankees won the World Series.
When Robinson became a free agent in 2013, the Yankees did their best to keep him in the Bronx. The Yankees offered a seven-year $175 million contract. Certainly an impressive offer, but not enough to top the $240 million, 10-year deal offered by the Mariners. A deal that minted Robinson as the fifth player in league history to sign a $200+ million contract.
Robinson's $240 million Mariners contract was negotiated by a CAA sports agent named Brodie Van Wagenen. That name will be important in a moment, but for now you should know that in 2018 Brodie was hired-away from CAA to become the General Manager of the New York Mets.
Robinson Canó ended up spending five moderately productive seasons with the Mariners, though during his time in Seattle the team did not make the post season once.
The relationship really soured in 2018 when a failed drug test led Robinson being suspended for 80 games.
When his suspension was up, Robinson was traded to the Mets in a deal that was spearheaded by the organization's brand new General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen.
Van Wagenen's decision to bet big on Cano was highly controversial within the Mets. Not only did the Mets agree to trade highly-rated young outfielder named Jarred Kelenic as part of the offer, they also were agreeing to pick up an extremely expensive contract, with five seasons remaining, owed to a player with a tarnished reputation whose best playing days may have been in the rear-view mirror.
Almost right out of the gate, the deal looked like a stinker. In his first season with the Mets, Robinson averaged just .256 with 13 home runs.
There was a flash of optimism when he averaged .316 in the COVID-abbreviated 2020 season.
That abbreviated season ended for the Mets on September 27, 2020 with a loss against the Nationals.
On October 30, 2020, hedge fund manager Steven A. Cohen purchased the the Mets for $2.4 billion.
On November 6, 2020, Cohen fired Brodie Van Wagenen.
On November 18, 2020 Robinson Canó was suspended AGAIN for violating MLB's performance-enhancing drugs policy. This second drug suspension took Robinson out for the entire 2021 season.
In the 2022 season, which is still going, Robinson averaged a paltry .195 with just one home run in 41 at bats.
Another issue has recently been boiling up for the Mets. The Mets had a deadline of May 2, to cut their roster by two players. Shockingly, on May 2, the Mets announced they had chosen to drop Robinson Canó from the roster.
In doing so, the Mets will continue to pay Robinson the remainder of what he is owed on that original $240 million contract. The owed amount is $40 million. So the Mets have essentially concluded that it makes more financial sense to pay Robinson Canó $40 million to sit at home and play video games over the next two seasons than to suit up for the club.