Seattle Mariners face a tough task in trading Robinson Cano

The Seattle Mariners are reportedly looking to trade eight-time All-Star Robinson Cano, but how realistic is such a move?

It sure sounds like the Seattle Mariners are ready to move on from the Robinson Cano era. As per a report from Ken Rosenthal reported at The Athletic, general manager Jerry Dipoto is actively attempting to trade the infielder.

However, you have to wonder how realistic such a move is? The obstacles facing the Mariners are extremely challenging.

The first obstacle is Cano’s age, regardless of how productive he was in 2018. (For example, his batting average of .303 was his best since 2014, while his defensive play is still above average.)

There is no getting around the fact Cano is 36. No matter how well professional athletes take care of themselves these days, the likelihood of a dramatic decline in production is an ever-present threat for a player on the wrong side of 35.

This in turn links into the second obstacle facing the M’s; Cano’s contract. He still has five years remaining on his current deal, with a base salary of $24 million per season.

In reality, what team would realistically be willing to take on a five-year, $120 million commitment for an aging player? No matter how much he has achieved during his career, it is still a major risk to take.

The Mariners always knew there as a strong possibility they would face this scenario, when they originally signed Cano to his deal in December 2013. At the time though, it felt like a necessary risk, in order to secure his signature and attempt to elevate the team to contender status.

Unfortunately for the M’s, there is now a third obstacle to face in attempting to trade the five-time Silver Slugger. And to be fair to them — and the majority of the league — it was one they never envisioned.

In a shocking turn of events, Cano was suspended for 80 games during the 2018 season. The suspension came as a result of testing positive for Furosemide, which was a violation of MLB’s performance-enhancing drugs policy.

Cano is admired and well-liked by players around the Majors. Regardless, his suspension is still something that will sit uneasily with management and board rooms around the league.

For what it’s worth, there has been some interest in Cano, at least according to Sportsnet‘s Julia Kruez. The report indicates the Mariners had a brief discussion with the New York Yankees, in respect of a trade involving Jacob Ellsbury.

The deal fell through, however, in large part due to the aforementioned issues surrounding Cano’s contract. In this respect, it stands to reason the Mariners will have to offer to continue paying a certain percentage of his salary, to help entice other teams to consider taking him. (And this is before we consider the players needed, to help make any trade become a reality.)

As a final though, it is also worth considering Cano’s position in all of this. His contract allows him to veto any potential trade, thus further complicating matters for the Mariners.

Ultimately, you can’t blame Dipoto for attempting to trade the two-time Gold Glove winner. However, the reality is the M’s are unlikely to be able to move him as things stand.

What is your take on the situation surrounding Cano? Do you see any realistic way the Seattle Mariners can move him, or should they accept the likelihood he isn’t going anywhere? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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