Through 40 games, Robinson Cano isn’t worth what the Mariners are paying him.
I know he’s the least of their problems – he leads the team, hitting .301 – but didn’t you expect more than one home run and eight doubles a quarter of the way through the season?
Cano is making $240 million over the next 10 years, an average of $24 million a season. You can look at it any number of ways. That’s $2 million a month over a full 12 months, or $4 million a month over a six-month baseball season. Or you could figure out how much he makes a game – more than $141,000 every time he trots out to second base.
In Cano’s defense, you could say all kinds of things about his lack of power thus far:
• Teams can pitch around him because there aren’t enough good hitters in the Mariners’ lineup.
• He’s a typically slow starter, and once the weather warms up, he will too.
• Yankee Stadium is a hitters’ park; Safeco Field is not.
Whatever you want to say about him, great, I hope you’re right. But to this point, Cano’s been a disappointment based on what you would expect from a $240 million player. If you’re making $240 million, you should be one of the top five players in the game, and Cano is not even top 20 right now.
He has averaged 29 home runs the last four years and though it’s sure to change, right now he’s on a pace for four this year. He has averaged 45 doubles the last five years and is on a pace for 32 this year. He has averaged 105 RBI the last four years and is on a pace for 88 this year.
Say what you will about Nick Franklin, the displaced second baseman, but I’m guessing he would have had more home runs and doubles than Cano if he played in all 40 games. I’m not saying I wish Franklin had his job back, nor am I saying that the Mariners should not have signed Cano, but if you’re being honest, didn’t you think we’d see more power by now from the former Yankee star?
Seven Mariners have more home runs than Cano, including Brad Miller, who’s averaging just .154. I’ve been criticized for emphasizing home runs too much, but if you want to look at his OPS, Cano’s .739 is far below his career OPS of .856. If Cano had one home run and eight doubles and were still a Yankee, imagine the heat he’d be taking in New York if he were making $24 million a year.
Somebody told me I shouldn’t factor his salary into a Cano evaluation, but how can you not? The Mariners didn’t spend $240 million to have him smack a bunch of singles even if he’s inarguably the best hitter on the team.
Until he starts delivering more extra-base hits, Robinson Cano isn’t worth what the Mariners are paying him.
The Go 2 Guy also writes for SeattlePI.com and KitsapSun.com. You can reach Jim at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo.