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Elephant Rumblings: Robinson Cano tests positive for PEDs, suspended for 2021 season

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MLB news roundup

New York Mets v Miami Marlins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Good morning afternoon, Athletics Nation!

The words “tested positive” have taken on a whole new meaning in 2020, with the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The phrase has represented a huge obstacle for sports teams, and more importantly a matter of life and death for millions of Americans.

But before this year, the words had a different connotation in the baseball world, and on Wednesday we got a reminder of those old days. New York Mets star second baseman Robinson Cano tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN.

This is the second PED suspension for Cano, who also got popped in 2018 and sat out 80 games as a result. A second offense carries an even harsher penalty of 162 games, meaning Cano will miss the entire 2021 season. He will also forfeit his salary, which would have been $24 million, though the last two years of his contract will remain intact for 2022-23. More details at MLB’s site.

Looking forward, the Mets now have a big hole to fill at 2B, after Cano put up a strong 2020 campaign at age 37. But they also have another huge chunk of money to spend, in addition to whatever new team owner Steve Cohen may have been planning to use to make a statement about his desire to win.

All of that means that this news affects the Oakland A’s. They are (hopefully? please?) in the market for a free agent second baseman, and now there is another potentially wealthy team unexpectedly added to the mix of fellow suitors — demand has risen but without an increase in supply. It’s also possible the Mets could replace Cano from within, but you’d have to think they’ll at least test the market while they decide.

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