Padres ready to select outfielder contract Nomar Mazara, tweet Robert Murray of Fan Sided. The former Rangers top prospect turned journeyman signed a minor league pact with San Diego over the winter. The move comes in conjunction with the ‘imminent’ release of the floundering second baseman/designated hitter Robinson Canoby Dennis Lin of The Athletic (Twitter link). Murray and Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported last night that Cano was likely to go for free agency after refusing to be opted for Triple-A (like any player with more than five years of service in the Major League can do it). Whether he’s officially released or elects free agency is largely a moot point; The result is the same.
Mazara, now 27, never became the perennial power threat many anticipated when he was a consensus top 100 prospect in 2015-16. He showed a lot of promise when he smashed 20 homers as a 21-year-old rookie with the Rangers in 2016, but Mazara was basically an average league hitter with a below-average offense for the first four years of his career. career in Texas.
A trade to the White Sox produced dismal results, as he went just .228/.295/.294 in 42 games with Chicago the following season. Mazara signed with the Tigers after being rejected by the Sox, but managed just .212/.276/.321 in 50 games with Detroit last season.
Overall, Mazara has been around 12% worse than league average with the bat in his big league career, by wRC+ metric, but he’s having a monster Triple-A season. In his first 152 plate appearances this season, Mazara hit .367/.454/.641 with seven homers, 14 doubles, a whopping 13.8% walk rate and below-average 19.1 strikeout rate. %.
Cano’s time with the Padres would prove brief, as he only signed with San Diego on May 13. However, the Padres are hoping the eight-time All-Star could right the ship after a .195/.233/.268 show with the Mets didn’t pan out. Quite the opposite, in fact, as Cano achieved a calamitous outing of 0.091/0.118/0.091 in 34 plate appearances. Overall, Cano went 3 for 33 (all singles) with a walk and 10 strikeouts in a Padres uniform.
The swan dip in Cano’s production follows a season-long absence in 2021 due to the second positive PED test of his 17-year Major League career. Given that backdrop and the fact that he turns 40 in October, it’s perhaps hardly surprising that Cano has struggled in 2022, although the extent of his home plate woes is shocking nonetheless.
Once Cano becomes a free agent, he will be free to sign with any interested club, although it’s hard to imagine another team putting him directly on the big players list. If Cano wanted to continue playing, he would likely have to sign a minor league deal, but his apparent refusal to accept a posting to Triple-A El Paso with the Padres calls into question whether he’ll be ready to go that route. The Mets still owe Cano $21.25 million for the 2023 season, while the Mariners (who originally signed him to a decade-long, $240 million contract before the 2014 season) earn $3.75 million in part of the trade that shipped him from Seattle to Reines.