The San Diego Padres sign veteran infielder Robinson Cano

The San Diego Padres sign veteran infielder Robinson Cano

Veteran infielder Robinson Cano has signed with the San Diego Padres, it was announced Friday.

The New York Mets released 39-year-old Cano on Sunday after designating him for action a week earlier.

The Padres will likely use the left-handed hitting Cano as a designated hitter in hopes he can improve their offensive production at that position.

In Thursday’s games, Padres-designated hitters are hitting just .206 with two homers and 12 RBIs this season. Both homers came from Luke Voit, who hit right in Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

Cano could also get occasional time at second base, bringing Jake Cronenworth to the shortstop and Ha-Seong Kim to the bench.

Kim bats just .200/.326/.388 and there is additional need for the shortstop because of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s wrist injury and because top contender CJ Abrams has returned to the minor leagues after his troubles earlier this season.

Cano sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He’s batted a .195 (8 to 41) on home runs, three RBIs and a .501 OPS in 43 plate appearances for the Mets this season, which leads in the National League East.

The Mets owe him $44,703,297 from the remainder of the 10-year, $240 million contract he signed with the Seattle Mariners. He lost $35,741,935 over two drug suspensions.

Cano, acquired in a multiplayer trade with the Mariners that also sent Edwin Diaz closer to New York, eventually played 168 games for the Mets, batting .269 with 24 homers, 72 RBIs and .765 OPS.

An eight-time All-Star, Cano has a career .302 batting average with 335 homers, 1,305 RBIs and .842 OPS in 17 seasons. He has 2,632 hits, including 571 doubles.

In a related roster swap, the Padres selected right-hander Dinelson Lamet to Triple-A El Paso.

ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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