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Did Brian Cashman, Yankees make right decision with Robinson Cano?

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale discusses the Nationals’ hot streak, if they can compete with the Yankees, and how much trouble the Dodgers are in. USA TODAY Sports

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The New York Yankees and general manager Brian Cashman had a major decision to make when five-time All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano became a free agent after the 2013 season.

Cano had just turned 31 and wanted a contract of close to 10 years. The Yankees weren’t willing to go that far. The Seattle Mariners were.

Allowing Cano to move on looks like the smart move after Cano was hit with an 80-game suspension Tuesday for violating MLB’s drug policy.

Cashman said clubs do “the best we can” in educating players about the potential pitfalls of taking something that might turn up as a banned substance, but “obviously the players have to take ownership as well” of that process.

As for commenting directly on Cano, “it’s not something I feel comfortable … given that he’s a Seattle Mariner,” Cashman said. “Obviously, Robbie was an impactful player here, he was always a great guy and we enjoyed our time with Robbie and the person he was when he was with us.

“It’s probably best for me to leave it at that.”

MORE COVERAGE:

Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera on Robinson Cano: ‘I know he didn’t cheat’

Justin Verlander anticipated a PED denial from Robinson Cano – who did not disappoint

Robinson Cano’s PED bust ruins his rep – and leaves Mariners with soiled, $24 million star

Cano ultimately signed with the Mariners for 10 years and $240 million.

Among Cano’s best friends when he played for the Yankees were Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera — two players who later were suspended for violating MLB’s PED policy.

Cashman said that if he were to have had any prior knowledge of potential PED use by Cano, “I would be compelled to tell” MLB or risk a fine in excess of $1 million and jeopardize his job security.

“And I take that seriously,” Cashman said, speaking in general terms. “Knowledge is one thing, suspicion is another.”

Caldera writes for the Bergen (N.J.) Record. He reported from Washington.

Follow Gardner on Twitter @SteveAGardner

Recent notable suspensions in MLB

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2018: Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended

2018: Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano was suspended 80 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports
2018: Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was suspended

2018: Royals outfielder Jorge Bonifacio was suspended 80 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Orlando Ramirez, USA TODAY Sports
2018: Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco was suspended 80

2018: Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco was suspended 80 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Butch Dill, USA TODAY Sports
2017: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was suspended

2017: Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was suspended 80 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Isaiah J. Downing, USA TODAY Sports
2017: Mets closer Jeurys Familia received a 15-game

2017: Mets closer Jeurys Familia received a 15-game suspension for a domestic violence incident.  Adam Hunger, USA TODAY Sports
2016: Mariners catcher Steven Clevenger was suspended

2016: Mariners catcher Steven Clevenger was suspended 10 games after his set of tweets imploring that protestors in Charlotte should be “locked behind bars like animals.”  Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images
2016: Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended

2016: Indians outfielder Marlon Byrd was suspended 162 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy a second time.  Aaron Doster, USA TODAY Sports
2016: Braves outfielder Hector Olivera received a 82-game

2016: Braves outfielder Hector Olivera received a 82-game suspension for domestic violence incident.  Jerome Miron, USA TODAY Sports
2016: Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes received a 51-game

2016: Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes received a 51-game suspension for domestic violence incident.  Nick Wass, AP
2016: Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was suspended

2016: Marlins second baseman Dee Gordon was suspended 80 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports
2016: Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello was suspended

2016: Blue Jays first baseman Chris Colabello was suspended 80 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports
2016: Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman received a 30-game

2016: Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman received a 30-game suspension for a domestic violence incident.  Butch Dill, USA TODAY Sports
2016: Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia received a lifetime

2016: Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia received a lifetime suspension for a third positive steroid test.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports
2015: Twins pitcher Ervin Santana was suspended 80

2015: Twins pitcher Ervin Santana was suspended 80 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Tony Gutierrez, AP
2013: Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was suspended

2013: Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was suspended 162 games for his link with Biogenesis anti-aging clinic and performance-enhancing substances.  Kathy Willens, AP
2013: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended 65

2013: Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun was suspended 65 games for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Jacquelyn Martin, AP
2012: Giants reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended

2012: Giants reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended 100 games for a second violation of MLB’s drug policy.  Kelley L Cox, USA TODAY Sports
2011: Manny Ramirez was suspended 100 games for a second

2011: Manny Ramirez was suspended 100 games for a second violation of MLB’s drug policy. Instead, he voluntarily retired. Upon reinstatement, Ramirez served 50 games once he signed a contract.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports
2007: Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended 80

2007: Tigers infielder Neifi Perez was suspended 80 games for a third positive steroid test.  Bob Jordan, AP
2005: Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro was suspended

2005: Orioles slugger Rafael Palmeiro was suspended 10 days for violations of MLB’s drug policy.  Jed Jacobsohn, Getty Images
1993: Reds owner Marge Schott was removed from day-to-day

1993: Reds owner Marge Schott was removed from day-to-day operations of the club for the entire 1993 season due to a number of racially offensive remarks. She was later suspended for similar behavior from 1996 through 1998.  David Kohl, AP
1992: Relief pitcher Steve Howe was permanently suspended

1992: Relief pitcher Steve Howe was permanently suspended by MLB for drug use. That followed a one-year ban which cost him the 1984 season. He was later reinstated and pitched again in 1994.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY Sports
1990: Yankees owner George Steinbrenner consented to

1990: Yankees owner George Steinbrenner consented to a lifetime “agreement” with MLB as a result of his attempts to discredit Dave Winfield. He was reinstated in 1993.  Chris O’Meara, AP
1989: Pete Rose, baseball's all-time hits leader, was

1989: Pete Rose, baseball’s all-time hits leader, was permanently banned from MLB as a result of his gambling on baseball.  Al Behrman, AP

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