Robinson Cano on Seattle: “It’s more relaxed”, “not as intense as New York”

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Following Sunday afternoon’s win over the Rangers, the Mariners went to 10-14, but still sit just two games ahead of the lowly Astros for last place in the AL West. There are plenty of reasons why second baseman Robinson Cano might have regrets after signing a ten-year, $240 million contract with the Mariners back in December, particularly since he could have gotten the same years and the same money elsewhere.

Cano, though, seems quite content. Via Newsday’s Anthony Rieber:

“I like it here,” the now-bearded Cano said. “It’s nice. The team’s really nice. I like the team, the city. Playing baseball, the fans, it’s really nice. Here it’s more relaxed. It’s not as intense as New York. In New York, when the game is over, everyone is looking at what’s wrong. Here we don’t have that.”

Cano makes his return to the Bronx on Tuesday when the Mariners are in town to play the Yankees. He’ll likely hear plenty of boos from fans who either didn’t like his perceived lack of hustle while wearing Yankee pinstripes, or who now view him as a turncoat for following the money out of New York. But it will only be Cano’s problem from April 28 to May 1. Beyond that, he won’t have to hear it from the Bronx faithful until next season.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.