Mets release Cano, owe 2B nearly $45 million

PHILADELPHIA — The Mets released second baseman Robinson Cano prior to Sunday’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

The move comes a week after the slumping Cano was designated for assignment despite nearly $45 million remaining on his contract.

The Mets announced the news in their pregame notes and after manager Buck Showalter met with reporters before Sunday’s games.

Cano, 39, sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He batted .195 (8-for-41) this season with one home run, three RBIs and a paltry .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances for the National League East-leading Mets.

Cano has a .302 career batting average with 335 home runs, 1,305 RBIs and an .842 OPS in 17 seasons. He has 2,632 hits, including 571 doubles.

He is owed $44,703,297 by the Mets from the remainder of the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with the Seattle Mariners. He has lost $35,741,935 because of the two drug suspensions.

Now that he has been released by the Mets, a team could sign him for a prorated share of the $700,000 minimum this season and pay the $710,000 minimum in 2023.

In a deal that also netted closer Edwin Diaz, the Mets shipped five players to Seattle in December 2018 — including prized outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2018 amateur draft. New York agreed to assume the $100 million left on the final five years of Cano’s contract at the time.

Cano ended up playing 168 games for the Mets, batting .269 with 24 homers, 72 RBIs and a .765 OPS.

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