Veteran infielder Robinson Cano has signed with the San Diego Padres, it was announced Friday.
The New York Mets released the 39-year-old Cano on Sunday after designating him for assignment a week earlier.
The Padres will likely use the left-handed-hitting Cano at designated hitter, hoping he can improve their offensive production at the position.
Entering Thursday’s games, Padres designated hitters are batting just .206 with two home runs and 12 RBIs this season. Both those home runs came via Luke Voit, who bats right, in Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs.
Cano also might, on occasion, get time at second base, moving Jake Cronenworth to shortstop and Ha-Seong Kim to the bench.
Kim is batting only .200/.326/.388, and there’s additional need at shortstop because of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s wrist injury and because top prospect CJ Abrams was optioned back to the minor leagues after struggling earlier this season.
Cano 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 .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances for the National League East-leading Mets.
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.
Cano, who was acquired in a multiplayer trade with the Mariners who also felt closer to Edwin Diaz to New York, ended up playing 168 games for the Mets, batting .269 with 24 homers, 72 RBIs and a .765 OPS.
An eight-time All-Star, 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.
In a corresponding roster move, the Padres optioned right-hander Dinelson Lamet to Triple-A El Paso.
ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.