San Diego Padres send down struggling Robinson Cano, who opts to become a free agent 7:04 PM ET ESPN The San Diego Padres optioned struggling infielder Robinson Cano to Triple-A El Paso on Thursday and the veteran instead opted to become a free agent, the team said. The Padres signed the former eight-time All-Star to a deal on May 13 after he was designated for assignment by the New York Mets . In 12 games with San Diego, Cano was 3-for-33 (.091) with no home runs and one RBI. The 39-year-old struck out 10 times and walked once. Cano batted .195 (8-for-41) with one home run, three RBIs in 12 games for the National League East-leading Mets. Cano sat out last season while serving his second suspension for performance-enhancing drugs. He has a .301 career batting average with 2,635 hits, 335 home runs and 1,306 RBIs in 17 seasons. In a corresponding move, San Diego selected veteran outfielder Nomar Mazara from El Paso.