The Seattle Mariners made Robinson Cano a very, very rich man. On the field, though, Cano’s play hasn’t really reflected his price tag.
Sure, Cano has a 9.8 cumulative WAR over his first two seasons, which isn’t horrible. When you factor in his 10-year, $240 million contract, however, it’s only fair to wonder if he’s been worth the money.
Former Mariners coach Andy Van Slyke sure sounds like he’d fall into the “Cano hasn’t been worth the money” camp, judging by a recent interview. Van Slyke went on 920 AM in St. Louis on Wednesday and ripped into Cano for the second baseman’s lack of production during his Mariners tenure.
(All of the transcription is from the Seattle Times.)
“He had probably the worst single year of an everyday player that I’ve ever seen in 20 years at the big league level,” Van Slyke started, before really hammering Cano later in the interview.
“Robinson Cano was the single worst third-place, every-day player I’ve ever seen — I’ve ever seen for the first half of a baseball season,” Van Slyke continued. “He couldn’t drive home Miss Daisy if he tried. He couldn’t get a hit when it mattered. He played the worst defense I’ve ever seen at second base. I mean, I’m talking about the worst defensive second baseman ever — I’ve ever seen in 20 years in the big leagues. He couldn’t catch the ball. No, I take that back. Any ball that was hit to him was an out. Any ball that he had a chance to turn a double play, he’s still maybe the best in the game today. He’s got a great arm.
“But I’m telling you, Frank: Robinson Cano cost the GM (Jack Zduriencik) his job. The hitting coach (Howard Johnson) got fired because of Cano. And the manager (Lloyd McClendon) and the coaches got fired because of Cano. That’s how much impact he has on the organization. He was the worst player and it cost people their jobs in the process.”
The Cano debate probably will continue for his entire career, but there’s no question Van Slyke got his money’s worth in this interview.
Thumbnail photo via Jennifer Buchanan/USA TODAY Sports Images