Robinson Canó won the hearts of New York Yankee fans after making his MLB debut in 2005. The slick-fielding second baseman accomplished the rare feat of making the game look easy; he hit for power, average, and had the sweetest left-handed swing since Ken Griffey Jr. Canó was a World Series champion in 2009, received one of the largest deals in MLB history (10 years, $240 million), and was regarded as one of the greatest second basemen of all-time especially since he ranks top ten in homers, hits, and doubles, and wRC+. Unfortunately, Canó’s legacy has become even more tainted as he was found guilty of testing positive for PEDs the second time this past Wednesday.
Indeed, Canó has received a 162-game suspension because he is a second time PED user. Canó first tested positive for Furosemide in 2018 and at the time issued this statement:
“I’ve been getting tested for the last 12 seasons and I’ve never had an issue with MLB policy,” he said. “I was treating for some medical ailments and I was being supervised by a doctor. But at the same time, I understand that everything that goes into my body, I’m responsible for that.”
Whether or not, Canó was lying or trying to salvage his reputation through this statement, his actions still put his HOF legacy in jeopardy. Only a few players with some PED concerns (Mike Piazza, Jeff Bagwell, and Ivan Rodriguez) as well as the commissioner who oversaw the Steroid Era (Bud Selig) are in the Hall of Fame. Meanwhile, the more proven PED users such as Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds that were on the infamous Mitchell Report are still fighting an uphill battle as they have yet to reach even 65% of the HOF vote after eight years on the ballot. Other legendary players who took PEDs such as Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Manny Ramirez, and Gary Sheffield have either been kicked off the ballot, or are nowhere near the 75% threshold. At least with many of the early 2000s PED users, MLB had no official rule about steroids or other PED, but with all the drug testing, awareness, and anger towards players that take PEDs today, there is no excuse for taking them.
Still, Canó had a chance for the Hall of Fame after being suspended for PEDs the first time around. Bonds and Clemens may get in before Canó is eligible for the Hall of Fame, which would have greatly help his case. However, because of Canó’s most recent suspension, he joins Alex Rodriguez, Jenrry Mejia, Marlon Byrd, and Francis Martes as MLB players to receive a 162-game suspension. Thus, Canó has no chance at getting into the Hall of Fame now, and is among the list of players with Hall of Fame potential that threw their career away because of PEDs.
PED: Performance Enhancing Drugs
wRC+: Weighted runs created plus. A statistic that measures offensive production where 100 is the average. Any wRC+ above 100 is above average and any wRC+ below 100 is below average.