Robinson Cano suspended for 80 games

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Cano, 35, is batting.287 with four home runs and 23 RBIs this season. If a case can be made for allowing teams to void the contract of a player who get popped for performance-enhancing drugs, the Mariners have a strong one now with Cano. In a statement released through the players' association, Cano said the substance was given to him by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic to treat a medical ailment. "He has explained to us what happened, accepted the punishment and has apologized to the fans, the organization and his teammates".

"We love Robinson Cano".

Deportivo Z 101 in the Dominican Republic, Cano's home country, first reported Cano's suspension for steroid use, with an announcement expected on Tuesday that has now come.

"While I did not realise at the time that I was given a medication that was banned, I obviously now wish that I had been more careful", Cano said in the statement. Cano is an eight-time All-Star -he was the MVP of the game a year ago - but now must deal with the stigma of a suspension. This was the most hard decision I have ever made in my life, but ultimately the right decision given that I do not dispute that I was given this substance. The Milwaukee Brewers have found with Ryan Braun that there isn't much of a market for disgraced former stars even if they go back to having success.

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Cano is now out injured after suffering a broken bone in his hand after being hit by a pitch. (Cano's time on the DL counts toward his suspension.) The Mariners don't have a top middle-infield prospect close to the majors to turn to, but center fielder Dee Gordon said he is open to transitioning back to second, where he played the majority of his career entering this season. He is making $24 million this season, so the expected almost 50 percent of his 2018 pay is now going away with the suspension.

BC-BBA-Mariners-Cano Suspended, 6h Ld-Writethru, 1106Mariners All-Star Cano suspended 80 games for drug violationAP Photo NY161, NY160, NY158, NY159Eds: Edits 21st paragraph to update with details on exam in Philadelphia.

The M's will try to make do with a slapdash collection of Quadruple-A types, including Gordon Beckham and Andrew Romine.

Current designated hitter Nelson Cruz served a 50-game suspension while with the Rangers in 2013 for violations of the drug agreement, in relation to the sport's investigation of the Biogenesis of America clinic.