Despite the seemingly constant injuries and slumps that plagued the Yankees for much of the 2013 season, the Bronx Bombers could always rely on Robinson Cano to provide a steadying offensive force in the middle of the lineup.
Cano was rewarded on Wednesday for his offensive prowess, notching his fourth consecutive Silver Slugger Award -- and fifth overall -- as the top offensive second baseman in the American League. His four-year streak is the longest active one in the Majors.
Cano also won a Silver Slugger, given annually to the best offensive player at each position in each league, in 2006.
Set to be the most sought-after free agent on this year's market, Cano continued this season to pace second basemen offensively. The Yanks slugger led all second basemen in home runs (27), RBIs (107) and slugging percentage (.516), while also posting an AL-best .314 batting average among second basemen.
Few at his position have provided as steady production up the middle as Cano has over the past half-decade. The 31-year-old has turned in five straight seasons of hitting over .300 with 20-plus homers and at least 85 RBIs, all while playing in at least 159 games in each of those seasons.
Along with his offensive dominance, Cano earned Gold Glove Awards in 2010 and '12, and he was one of three Gold Glove finalists for this year's award.
Proving to be one of the most well-rounded players in the game, Cano will certainly demand his fair share of attention in free agency this winter, though Yankees general manager Brian Cashman hopes to retain the five-time All-Star. The Yanks on Monday extended a qualifying offer to Cano, mainly out of principle, considering the five-time Silver Slugger will demand far greater on the market than the one-year, $14.1 million terms associated with the qualifying offer.
"He's been a great Yankee," Cashman said last month. "I think if he stays, he'll have a legitimate chance to experience what you just saw, for instance, for Mariano [Rivera]. Maybe he has the chance to be the first Dominican-born player in Monument Park; a homegrown Yankee."
The fifth Silver Slugger only adds to an already lengthy list of accomplishments for Cano -- one that also includes a World Series title, a World Baseball Classic MVP Award and Home Run Derby champion honors.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.