Robinson Cano is back with the Seattle Mariners, having finished his 80-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s joint drug agreement.
Cano was reinstated from the restricted list Tuesday. The Mariners optioned right-hander Casey Lawrence to Triple-A Tacoma and transferred righty Sam Tuivailala (Achilles) to the 60-day disabled list in corresponding moves.
Cano, 35, was placed on the disabled list May 14, the day after he sustained a broken hand when he was hit by a pitch in Detroit. He was suspended the next day.
Cano, who has played all but one inning of his 14-year major league career at second base, is expected to return as a first baseman with Dee Gordon shifting to second base during his absence. Cano has also taken ground balls at third base, where Kyle Seager is entrenched.
Cano was batting .287 with four home runs and 23 RBIs in 39 games this season at the time of his suspension. He had seven hits, including two home runs, in 18 at-bats across five games during his minor league rehab.
Cano tested positive for the diuretic furosemide, which has been known to be used as a masking agent by track athletes. He issued a statement at the time of his ban saying he unknowingly took the substance when it was given to him “by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment.”
At the time, ESPN’s T.J. Quinn reported that baseball players are not automatically suspended for using diuretics and that the suspension means MLB was able to prove he was using it to mask a drug. Quinn reported that Cano tested positive before the season, appealed the suspensions and subsequently dropped the appeal.
Cano lost more than $11 million in salary during the suspension.
Across 14 major league seasons with the Mariners and New York Yankees, Cano, an eight-time All-Star, has a career average of .304 with 305 home runs and 1,206 RBIs. The latter number ranks fourth among all active players.
The Mariners (69-51) enter Tuesday in third place in the American League West and 2 1/2 games back of the Oakland Athletics for the league’s second wild card. Should Seattle make the postseason, Cano will be ineligible to play.
–Field Level Media