Dominican Republic second baseman Robinson Cano attempts to turn a double play in the D.R.’s final game in pool play at the 2023 Caribbean Series. Cano will play for Estrellas Orientales in the LIDOM for the 2023-24 winter season. (Photo Courtesy CBPC)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
Former Major League Baseball second baseman Robinson Cano will play in his sixth winter league season with Estrellas Orientales this winter in the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana, ESPN Dominicana reported on Monday.
“If the chance comes, for sure, I would love to. And, you know, but I just go play. And for me, it’s kind of everywhere I play, I like to compete. I love to compete,” Cano told World Baseball Network at Baseball United Media Day when asked if he was still trying to get back to the Major Leagues. “I prepare myself to be the Robby Cano that I’m always being. And whenever you have to play just for play, I think that’s the time to retire. I like to compete and go out and do my job.”
Cano is part of the ownership group for Baseball United, which will have its first event, the Dubai Showcase, from November 10-12 at Dubai International Stadium and will be on the active roster of one of the franchises.
Cano played 17 seasons in the major leagues, and missed the 2021 after being suspended for using performance enhancement drugs. He has won two Caribbean Series titles, in 2021 as a reinforcement player with the Aguilas Cibaenas and last season as a reinforcement player with the Tigres del Licey, and won a 2013 World Baseball Classic championship title with the Dominican Republic. He was a World Series champion in 2009 with the New York Yankees during his career.
Last winter, Cano played in the 2023 Caribbean Series in Caracas, Venezuela, and in nine games, he batted .286 over 36 plate appearances with 10 hits, three doubles, three RBI, and one walk helping Tigres de Licey win their 11th Caribbean Series title, beating the Liga Venezolana de Beisbol Profesional’s Leones del Caracas 6-3 in the final game.
Cano appeared in two games of the 2023 World Baseball Classic for the Dominican Republic, getting two at-bats and scoring one run, recording one hit, one RBI, and striking out once.
Cano has played in five winter league seasons with the Estrellas Orientales and made two Caribbean Series appearances. Between the Estrellas and the Caribbean Series, he has suited up in 66 games with 283 plate appearances batting .310 recording 79 hits, 17 doubles, one triple, one home run, 40 RBI, 24 walks, and 16 strikeouts including .764 OPS.
The 2023-24 LIDOM regular season will start on October 19, with three games slated for opening day. The Santo Domingo series between the Leones del Escogido and the Tigres del Licey will be at Estadio Quisqueya Juan Marichal at 7:15 p.m. EDT. The Gigantes del Cibao will travel to Santiago to play the Aguilas Cibaenas at 7:30 p.m. EDT at Estadio Cibao. The Toros del Este will play the Estrellas Orientales a 7:30 p.m. EDT at Estadio Tetelo Vargas.
All LIDOM regular season games will be streamed on MLB.tv until the final out of the best-of-seven championship series in January, shortly before the 2024 Caribbean Series in Miami at loanDepot Park from February 1-9.