Robinson Cano showing dedication to match Mariners’ front office
The Mariners front office showed its commitment to winning by adding names like Nelson Cruz, Seth Smith and J.A. Happ this offseason. Now it’s the players’ turn, and superstar second baseman Robinson Cano is leading the way.
Cano arrived in spring training about 15 pounds lighter, and he showed a serious amount of hustle for a Cactus League game by beating out a grounder to third base in his first at-bat of the spring on Thursday.
It’s all evident of the dedication the $240 million man wants to show to the team after they bought in this offseason, as he told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” on Friday.
“They did their job getting the right pieces,” Cano said. “Now it’s our job to go out there and show them that they’re doing their job and we want to win and we’re gonna go out and compete every single game.”
The process of buying in by the front office has been going on for a few years now. The Mariners signed ace Felix Hernandez to a pair of lucrative extensions despite getting numerous offers for the one-time Cy Young winner during lean years. They added Cano on the biggest contract in franchise history before the 2014 campaign. And after finishing just one game out of a playoff berth last year, they addressed their lack of right-handed power by brining the 2014 home run champ, Nelson Cruz, to Seattle.
The memory of last year’s postseason near-miss is very present in Cano’s mind, and by hustling out of the box in his first Cactus League appearance he was sending a message to the clubhouse.
“Be ready from the first game,” he said. “Because last year we missed it by one game, so I know we play 162 games â€¦ you might need that game down the road.”
And if anyone has been ready from Day 1, it’s Cano. Arriving in camp noticeably slimmer than last year was by design, as he reportedly didn’t lose the 10-15 pounds throughout last season like he became accustomed to while playing in humid New York. But he mentioned to “Brock and Salk” that his age also had something to do with it.
“I’m 32-years-old. I don’t want to wait until I’m 36-, 37-years-old, say ‘OK, I gotta get back in shape,'” he said. “I want to be ready from spring training and get used to my weight. It’s a big difference, 15 pounds lighter, and I feel really good.”