Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - File this under the "take it with a
grain of salt category", but apparently the New York Yankees aren't going to
wait around for free agent second baseman Robinson Cano.
Now at first it seems kind of ludicrous considering who we are talking about,
but according to ESPN New York, the Yankees have reiterated to Cano's agents
that their best offer will only be on the table for so long.
But if you believe that, then well you must be counting the days until Alex
Rodriguez is exonerated.
New York has already opened its wallet this offseason, agreeing to a 5-year,
$85 million deal with catcher Brian McCann. And reportedly the team is closing
in on a deal with outfielder Carlos Beltran, while keeping an eye on a number
of other potential free agent targets and still trying to remain under their
goal of a $189 million payroll.
As much as they might want to meet that payroll expectation, it's a long shot
and honestly, probably went out the window when they missed the playoffs and
had to watch Boston win a World Series.
By all accounts the Yankees have offered Cano a 7-year, $160 million deal, but
his people are insisting on a 10-year deal that will pay the All-Star second
baseman north of $300 million.
The bottom line is that, despite what they might be saying publicly, the
Yankees will wait for Cano. And Cano will come down on his ridiculous asking
price, quite simply because nobody will likely even come close to matching the
And if his new Roc Nation representative Jay Z wants to market him as the
sport's Michael Jordan, what better place to do that than in New York?
The fact of the matter is this was never a deal that was going to be decided
quickly and everyone involved knows that. Rarely is a big deal like this
consummated before the Winter Meetings.
Cano is just too valuable to the Yankees to let him walk away. He may not be
the face-of-the-franchise type like a Derek Jeter, but Cano is darn good. How
good? Well he is just one of only four players in the game who have been worth
more than five wins above replacement in each of the past four seasons.
The Yankees offense was downright offensive last year. Imagine it without
Cano's biggest obstacle in this process seems to be a case of bad timing.
Show me the team that is going to go higher than the Yankees. Boston? Nope
Dustin Pedroia is at second. Either of the Los Angeles teams? Nope. The
Dodgers just signed Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero and the Angels already have
four players scheduled to make $20 million-plus in 2016. Detroit? They just
traded Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler.
Washington, Baltimore, San Francisco? Who?
There are not a whole lot of viable options, which is amazing considering the
player we are talking about.
The Rangers do have an opening at second base and have a ton of money to
spend. The popular belief is that they will move super prospect Jurickson
Profar to second, but some have speculated that Texas could still move him,
perhaps in a deal for Tampa left-hander David Price or St. Louis outfielder
If that's the case the Rangers could then in turn make a run at Cano.
Then there are the Tigers, who may or may not have had a secret meeting with
Cano's agents over the weekend. Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski was
quick to shoot that down, though.
"We plan on having Ian Kinsler as our second baseman this year," Dombrowski
told Mlive.com in an email on Friday.
Yes, but perhaps he was inquiring if Cano would like to move to third, a
position he is familiar with. And let's be honest he wouldn't exactly be
replacing Brooks Robinson over there. Cano is a Gold Glove second baseman. On
his worst day, he'd still be an upgrade defensively at third over Miguel
Cabrera, who will be shifting across the diamond for the Tigers with Fielder
Now both scenarios are extreme longshots, but still a more likely option than
Cano signing with the Mets, another team he reportedly met with.
But that's what happens here in the offseason when there's not much else going
on, we speculate.
One team that could be an under the radar player here might be Seattle. The
Mariners have a ton of young pitching and may be a bat away from competing.
Seattle seems intent on landing an outfield bat, but maybe that middle of the
order bat it covets could be Cano.
Again, though, no team is going to give him $300 million. And if a team does
get close to $200 million, you have to believe the Yankees will go there.
Remember, as important as this deal is for Cano, it's equally important to Jay
Z. If he botches this deal and Cano winds up with even less than what the
Yankees are offering there won't be that mass exodus to Roc Nation as some
Cano needs New York just as much as the Yankees need him.
There won't be any ultimatum, though. The Yankees will wait. This is a
process. And it's just started. There will be a hundred other rumors from here
until Cano actually puts pen to paper.
That is the beauty of baseball's offseason.
The Sports Network