Robinson Cano officially is a Chihuahua.
The eight-time MLB All-Star made his debut Saturday for the San Diego Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, the El Paso Chihuahuas, in his pursuit of reviving his baseball career. Wearing a bright yellow jersey on the team’s SpongeBob Night, Cano went 1-for-5 with an RBI single in his first at-bat during a 13-3 victory.
Cano, who was called up from the minors to the Yankees in 2005, had played in a handful of minor-league games over the years on rehab assignments. But this trip was much different.
Coming back from a season-long suspension in 2021 due to a second violation of MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the 39-year-old Cano hit .195 in 12 games for the Mets before he was released. He quickly resurfaced with the Padres and actually fared worse, hitting .091 in 12 games.
Before he was released by the Padres, Cano was asked to accept an assignment to the minors. He declined, searched around free agency for about a week and then came back to the Padres willing to accept a minor-league contract.
While many minor-leaguers are only making five-figure salaries, Cano is owed $44 million by the Mets as the remaining balance of the $240 million contract he signed with the Mariners in free agency in 2013 instead of reupping with the Yankees. He was acquired by the Mets in a trade in 2018 after his first PED suspension.