May 20, 2018

Take 5: Where do Mariners, Cano go from here?

17 May 2018, 02:53 | Ken Black

Mariners' All-Star Robinson Cano suspended 80 games for drug violation, will lose more than $11 million

MLB suspends Seattle's Robinson Canó 80 games for drug violation

Mariners All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano has been suspended 80 games for violating baseball's joint drug agreement, Major League Baseball announced Tuesday morning. Cano released a statement that said, in part, he would accept the suspension which starts now.

As expected, Cano will be forced to go under the knife to fix the broken bone at the base of his right pinkie finger, an injury he suffered just days before being handed an 80-game suspension for failing a drug test. He denied it was a performance enhancer.

It was a very different response than how he addressed then-teammate Jhonny Peralta's suspension in 2013.

As of now, Cano can return against the Oakland Athletics on August 14th, but is not eligible to play in the postseason.

Gordon was suspended 80 games during the 2016 season. (Cano's time on the DL counts toward his suspension.) The Mariners don't have a top middle-infield prospect close to the majors to turn to, but center fielder Dee Gordon said he is open to transitioning back to second, where he played the majority of his career entering this season. It is the first PED suspension in his 14-year career.

So where do the Mariners (and Cano) go from here? Furosemide itself isn't against the league's rules, but if MLB determines a player was using it as a masking agent, the drug triggers a positive test. Cano was trending toward becoming one of the few current players with a chance to reach 3,000 hits in his career and has been a consummate defensive standout.

In this case, if Cano had a medical reason for using the substance he could have sought out a Therapeutic Use Exemption to use furosemide.

When Cano hit the disabled list Monday as the result of a fractured fifth metacarpal in his right hand sustained on a hit-by-pitch, the Mariners promoted Beckham from Triple-A Tacoma to take his place.

That puts the team somewhere around game 85 on the season. However, he will lose almost half his $24 million salary from 2018.

Cano, who has hit at least 20 home runs in eight of the past nine seasons, was hitting.287 with four home runs before breaking his hand. Baseball's drug program doesn't distinguish between a healthy and unhealthy player.

"We're all disappointed, we just lost one of our best players".

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