Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended for 80 games on Tuesday following a positive test for a performance-enhancing drug, according to multiple reports, including Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:
Héctor Gómez, a reporter based in the Dominican Republic, was the first with the news:
Over the weekend, the Seattle Mariners placed Cano on the disabled list due to a fractured fifth metacarpal in his right hand. As it turns out, the Mariners will have to get used to playing without him for the foreseeable future.
Per baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy, a first-time offender receives an 80-game suspension. After that, the punishments are upped, with a second-time offender receiving a full-season banishment, and a third-time offender receiving a lifetime ban from the sport. As with all players who fail a PED test, Cano is no longer eligible for this year’s postseason.
Cano, 35, had been in the midst of what seemed like a typical season. He’d hit .287/.385/.441 over his first 39 games, giving him a 129 OPS+. His reliability had been one of his greatest assets: he’d appeared in at least 150 games in every season since 2007, and hadn’t posted an OPS+ below 110 since 2008. Cano seemed prime to one day join the 3,000 Hit Club, as he sits fewer than 600 knocks away with five years remaining on his contract.
Whether Cano reaches that mark or not, his Hall of Fame case will include questions about the legitimacy of his accomplishments. As such, consider this a sad day — for the Mariners, for Cano, and for fans who have enjoyed him as one of baseball’s best pure hitters.
As for the Mariners, they had already committed to giving Gordon Beckham a look at the keystone. Their other options are limited, with Andrew Romine serving as their backup infielder and Taylor Motter being the only other upper-minors infielder on the 40-man roster. The Mariners could, theoretically, also move Dee Gordon back to second base, with Guillermo Heredia potentially taking on a more prominent role.