Robinson Cano could affect Oakland A’s infield plans
By David Hill
Now that Robinson Cano has been suspended for the 2021 season, the New York Mets could throw a wrench into the Oakland A’s plans.
If the Oakland A’s had their druthers, their infield situation in 2021 would look the same as it did at the end of the 2020 season. The A’s would like to bring back both Marcus Semien and Tommy La Stella, but finances are likely to dictate otherwise. At this point, it is projected that La Stella will be the one to return, although that depends on his market.
But now a wrench has been thrown into the works. The New York Mets suddenly have an opening in their infield as Robinson Cano has been suspended for the 2021 season due to his second failed PED test. Although the Mets do have the depth to cover the loss, it would not be a surprise if they looked for a replacement.
New owner Steve Cohen has vowed to bring the Mets back to the postseason and win a World Series, saying that the team would begin spending like a major market club. Cano’s suspension now gives the Mets another $24 million to work with, more than enough to fill that void.
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One player that the Mets could take a long look at would be Tommy La Stella. He would add more versatility to the infield with his ability to play both second and third. La Stella has also displayed an impressive batting eye and excellent contact skills, something that would play well in the second spot of the Mets lineup.
Those abilities were on full display last year. In his 228 plate appearances between the A’s and Angels, La Stella posted a .281/.370/.449 batting line, drawing 27 walks and striking out just 12 times. He hit 14 doubles and five homers while producing a career best 127 OPS+.
Considering his ability with the bat and defensive versatility, La Stella was already going to have plenty of opportunities in free agency. But now the Mets loom as a possibility, one that may not be outspent by any other suitor. Should they become involved in his market, chances are that the A’s will not be able to bring him back.
With his second PED suspension, Robinson Cano potentially threw a wrench into the Oakland A’s offseason plans. Their hopes that Tommy La Stella will return could have disappeared.