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Cano expected in camp after return from Dominican

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Although position players aren't scheduled to report until Monday and take the field for the first full-squad workout Tuesday, only a handful of Mariners weren't already in camp by Friday, including new star second baseman Robinson Cano.

Cano's absence is no surprise, however, as he was in the Dominican Republic on Thursday to help the Mariners open their new baseball academy in his homeland and isn't expected to arrive in Arizona until this weekend.

Outfielder Abraham Almonte was also in the Dominican, where he's been working out at the club's new facility. The only other 40-man players not yet in camp are outfielder Dustin Ackley and infielder Nick Franklin.

Cano, who signed a 10-year, $240 million contract in December, is eager to get started with his new club.

"I can't wait," Cano said Thursday after taking batting practice at the Dominican facility. "I'm just counting the days to get back there and have that feeling, get to know my teammates and spend time with the new manager."

That new skipper, Lloyd McClendon, is happy to see so many of his charges in camp working out on their own prior to the official reporting date.

"I think it's great," he said. "It's really amazing. Most of these guys are ready to start playing right now. They're in great shape, they've been going at it hard, they look great. I've been pleased with how they're going about their business."

Greg Johns is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog.
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