The San Diego Padres officially signed veteran infielder Robinson Cano on Friday, hours before a road game against the Atlanta Braves.
Cano, 39, was released by the New York Mets on Sunday. The club designated Cano for assignment on May 2 and he was let go after clearing waivers.
Cano, an eight-time All-Star, was batting just .195 with one homer and three RBIs in 12 games with the Mets. But he insists he can still perform at a high level.
“I’ve got a lot left in the tank,” Cano told reporters in Atlanta. “I know I can still play this game and just go out on top.”
Acting manager Ryan Christenson said Cano will get occasional starts at second base and designated hitter. Cano was not in Friday’s starting lineup.
Christenson is running the club after manager Bob Melvin recently underwent prostate surgery.
Cano will be paid $20.25 million this season but the Padres are only on the hook for a prorated share of the $700,000 minimum salary. The Mets owe the remainder.
Cano has 2,632 career hits, 335 homers and 1,305 RBIs in 2,246 games with the New York Yankees (2005-13), Seattle Mariners (2014-18) and Mets. The Dominican Republic native has a .302 career batting average.
Cano missed the 2021 season following his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
“I missed the game,” Cano said. “I would say every bad situation you’ve got to take the good things out of it. I had a chance to spend time with my kids, being a dad. My daughter’s only 5. My son is 11. You’ve just got to move on and turn the page.”
The Padres optioned struggling right-hander Dinelson Lamet to Triple-A El Paso to open a roster spot. Lamet, 29, is 0-1 with a 9.72 ERA in 10 relief appearances.