#6: Robinson Cano: 2014 w/6.2 oWAR. Also, 2016 w/6.2
It’s a tie for his best season. To me, I give the honor to 2014. It was his first season in Seattle, and Cano showed that being away from New York and the bright lights were not going to affect his performance. There was definitely a worry with fans that if the Mariners were struggling, Cano wouldn’t perform. Shoot, there was a worry that he wouldn’t perform anyway after getting paid and moving away from New York.
It’s a worry that most fan bases have when they get a massive signing. Cano quickly assuaged those worries by putting together an amazing 2014 in which he would finish 5th in MVP voting. His power numbers were down for the Mariners that year, but a 142 OPS+ with a slash of .314/.382/.454, makes it hard to complain.
There’s an argument for 2016 as well. He had a career-high in HR that year with 39 and slashed .298/.350/.533 with a 138 OPS+. It comes down to a power vs contact argument. He got on base a ton in 2014 and did it with less than 70 strikeouts on the season. Both seasons were great, but coming out and proving in year one that you were still going to work hard made fans feel much better about the signing. It’s why I take the 2014 season over the 2016 season.