Mariners give Robinson Cano permission to play in Dominican Winter League

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According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the Mariners have given Robinson Cano permission to play a limited number of games in the Dominican Winter League as he makes his way back from a broken toe.

Cano suffered a broken right pinkie toe when he was hit in the foot by a pitch during the Japan Series in November. The 32-year-old was held out of baseball activities for about a month, but he’s now fully recovered. Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said Cano just wants to test his toe in game action prior to spring training.

Cano will be entering the second season of his 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle. While his power was down a bit in 2014, he still proved plenty valuable by batting .314/.382/.454 with 14 home runs, 82 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. He has appeared in at least 157 games over the past eight seasons. That’s not quite Cal Ripken, Jr. or anything, but it’s pretty good.

Indians designate Carlos Gonzalez for assignment

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The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.

A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.

If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.