With the news coming out of Robinson Canó‘s use of Performance-enhancing drugs, he will now be suspended for the entire upcoming 2021 season, since this is his second time using PEDs. Canó had a pretty solid year this past season after a rough 2019 campaign. The Mets now have some decisions to make on how they will replace him as well as how the infield will now look without him.
This past season Canó was the Mets starting second basemen as well as their occasional DH. New York already have a numerous amount of options at DH so that will not be a problem for the Mets. However the team now has a big and important decision to make on who will be Canó‘s replacement.
The Mets definitely have some guys internally that would fit. Jeff McNeil being Canó replacement would make a lot of sense because second base is McNeil’s natural position. He is one of the most versatile players in the game. He plays four different positions. Last year, he started the season at third but shortly after the season began he was moved to left field due to JD Davis struggling at the spot. However, if McNeil was to move to second permanently Dominic Smith or JD Davis would be the Mets starting Left fielder and as Mets fans know, neither of them are good defenders especially in the outfield. McNeil is the Mets best pure hitter and he will definitely have a starting spot but with Canó no out, second base will definitely be an option.
Another intriguing choice the Mets have is to play Andrés Giménez at second. This upcoming season will be Giménez’s second year in the majors. He had an eye opening rookie campaign: with his elite glove, blazing speed and stellar bat. Giménez became the team’s starting shortstop after just a couples of weeks in the majors which was a shock to many. Amed Rosario was not underperforming which made that decision that much more shocking. The move to Giménez did give the Mets a little boost. But it did not make a big difference in the long run.
Moving Giménez to second would allow for Rosario to get his starting spot back. While also giving Giménez a starting spot at the same time. Giménez did play second base this past season for a couple of weeks after Canó went on the injured list and he rose up to the occasion. He looked pretty comfortable at second and the Mets should let him continue to learn and play there. Giménez playing second would also let McNeil continue playing left field which would mean nor Davis or Smith would have to play at a spot they are not very comfortable yet. Giménez moving to second would be the wisest decision the Mets can make and ultimately what they should do as it benefits them in a multitude of ways.
If needed — the Mets do have Luis Guillorme. But he is a bench piece, not a starter just yet.
Additionally as a result of Canó‘s suspension, he does have to forfeit the plus $20 million he was scheduled to make this upcoming season. Money is likely not going to be an issue anymore for this team with owner Steve Cohen’s deep pocket. But an extra $20 million is definitely going to be useful if the Mets try to replace Canó with a guy outside the organization, and could possibly even lure star free agent DJ LeMahieu to Flushing.
The Mets are losing an experienced veteran in Canó and he will be missed. But the Mets do have options on how they will replace him and the smartest decision they can make would be to move Giménez to second and give Rosario his starting spot back.
Photo: MLB TR