Robinson Cano could have one more item to add to his free agent resume now that he's been nominated for what would be his third American League Gold Glove Award at second base.
Cano's advanced defensive metrics this season were hardly overwhelming, but it was a thin AL field. Cano had six Defensive Runs Saved and an 0.8 Ultimate Zone Rating. DRS is the key defensive stat used in the oft-cited Wins Above Replacement measure and UZR tracks a player's ability to get to balls hit in his zone.
Cano is up against a pair of AL East rivals in Boston's Dustin Pedroia (15 DRS, 10.9 UZR) and Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist (7 DRS, 10 UZR). Texas' Ian Kinsler (11 DRS) and Minnesota's Brian Dozier (7 DRS) both saved more runs than Cano but posted negative UZRs.
The only other Yankee with a legitimate case for the fielding award was rightfielder Ichiro Suzuki. Suzuki was third among AL rightfielders with 7 DRS and an 11.6 UZR. He trailed Gold Glove nominees in Boston's Shane Victorino (24 DRS, 25 UZR) and Oakland's Josh Reddick (13 DRS, 16.4 UZR).
But Suzuki was snubbed in favor of the odd choice of Baltimore's Nick Markakis who had -7 DRS and a -6.6 UZR.
Voting for Gold Gloves is a complicated process that takes into account advanced metrics to some degree, but still relies heavily on some less number-conscious field commanders. The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) has developed a defensive index that accounts for about 25 percent of the total vote. The rest of the tally comes from managers and coaches.
Winners are announced at 8 p.m. on Tuesday on ESPN2.