The New York Mets have designated Robinson Cano for assignment, releasing one of MLB’s highest-paid players. With two years left on Cano’s contract, the Mets will be paying the second baseman to either sit at home or play for another team.

Cano, 39, entered the 2022 season with $48 million guaranteed and two years left on his contract. The Mets are responsible for paying $40.5 million of that salary, which the veteran is set to make, whether or not he plays another MLB game for the rest of his career.

The Seattle Mariners traded Cano to the Mets in 2018 and are responsible for the remainder of his contract. New York’s decision to cut Cano came as MLB teams were forced to reduce their rosters from 28 to 26 players.

Through the first month of the 2022 season, Cano has been one of MLB’s least productive players. In 12 games, the second baseman is hitting .195/.233/.268 with one home run and three RBI. Cano has 11 strikeouts and two walks.

Cano was suspended for the entire 2021 season for using performance-enhancing drugs. The veteran also received an 80-game PED suspension in 2018.

In the shortened 2020 campaign, Cano had a bounce-back season. The second baseman hit .316 with 10 home runs in 49 games before being banned for the following season. Cano’s 2,632 career hits are the third-most of any active player.

Cano is an eight-time All-Star. After the 2013 season, he left the New York Yankees to sign a 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle in free agency.

Only 20 players are set to make more money this season than Cano. Ace Max Scherzer and shortstop Francisco Lindor are the only Mets with a higher 2022 salary.

Cano’s release is further proof that Mets owner Steve Cohen will spare no expense in trying to win a championship. The Mets have MLB’s second-highest payroll.

Brodie Van Wagenen, Cano’s agent and former Mets general manager, told the New York Post’s Joel Sherman that Cano wants to continue his MLB playing career.

The Mets’ 16-7 record is the best in the National League.

Pete Alonso Robinson Cano Mets
Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets is congratulated by his teammate Robinson Cano #24 after hitting a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the second inning at Citi Field on September 06, 2020 in New York City. Steven Ryan/Getty Images