Robinson Canó is confident in his abilities after receiving a chance to revive his 39-year career as a starter — at least for now — for the World Series champion Atlanta Braves.
The Dominican has a .301 batting average in his career, with more than 2,500 hits, but he struggled in short periods with the New York Mets and San Diego Padres.
The Braves, in need of a left-handed player at second base, received Cano for a dollar in a minor league trade with the San Diego Padres.
Cano quickly rejoined the Braves on Monday for the start of a three-game series against his former club, the leading New York Mets.
“I’m confident in the work I put in this offseason and I’ve always believed in myself and what I do to prepare,” Cano said after Monday’s batting practice. “I think I can still play.”
Cano gives the Braves another alternative at the position after Ozzie Albies was sidelined with a broken foot.
Because the Mets are in town, Cano attracted a mob of reporters who kept asking him about his past and future.
Asked if he thinks he got a fair shot with the Mets, Cano said he “didn’t want to look back… There are no bad feelings. I have friends from the other side and I always wish them the best.”
He hit .149 with a home run and four RBIs in 74 at-bats for the Padres and Mets this season. He was hitting .333 with three homers and 20 RBIs in 96 at-bats for Triple-A El Paso after the Padres released him and re-signed him to a minor league contract last month.
“I think he was rusty when he was here the first two times,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Cano’s early-season struggles. “We look forward to receiving what Robinson Canó is capable of. It’s worth trying. He’s been playing a month with Triple-A and he’s done well, so we’ll see.”
The Mets owe Cano nearly $45 million for what remains to be collected from the original contract he signed with Seattle. He is receiving a prorated amount of the $700,000 minimum salary from his major league deal with San Diego. He missed last season while serving a second doping suspension.
Cano agreed to a minor league deal with the Padres on June 10, eight days after he was released.
In addition to adding Cano to the 26-man roster, the Braves activated outfielder Adam Duvall after being on the paternity list.
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Braves acquire Robinson Canó for a dollar