Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cano Will Be In Pinstripes Next Year. Count On It.

I don't usually comment on the goings on with the New York Yankees, but this Robinson Cano free agent saga got my attention, and I thought I'd throw in my two cents.

When I first heard that Cano and his flunkies were seeking a 10-year, $30 million deal to stay in New York last month, I honestly thought that was a joke. It turns out they were dead serious, and that Cano wanted a similar deal to what Alex Rodriguez got from them in 2007.

Nobody, not even the Yankees, will offer that kind of deal to anyone. The era of handing out decade-long deals may finally have ended with the one the LA Angels gave to Albert Pujols two years ago (and I bet they are already regretting it). Teams saw the way the Red Sox put together a World Series winner in 2013, and without having to sign anyone to a long term deal, and it will be copied.

And earlier this week, Cano and his crew actually were comparing him to Michael Jordan. This further shows what a rank amateur Jay-Z (Cano's new superstar agent) comes off as. Cano isn't even the best all-around player at his own position (Dustin Pedroia is), let alone a player who transcends the sport.

Cano should be comparing himself to Pedroia, not to Jordan or Rodriguez. The Red Sox smartly extended Pedroia last summer, making him the highest-paid second baseman in the game, with eight more years at $110 million.

The rumor has it that the Yankees have offered Cano a seven-year deal at about $150 million. That easily eclipses what Pedey would make over the rest of the decade. So now if you're the Yankee brass, you simply tell Cano to go out and find a team willing to make a better offer than that. And right now, that doesn't appear to be happening.

You can scratch off the usual suspects like the Dodgers or Angels, who have enormous payrolls, and are already over the $189 million luxury tax threshold (especially the Angels, who have been burned in the free agent market the past few years). And most other teams either don't have the wherewithal to sign him, or don't want to get into a bidding war with the Yankees, who will surely outbid them.

And you may have heard that the Mets brass met with Cano and his people earlier this week. It was requested by his agents and not the Mets, who basically told them that the Mets busted open the bank for David Wright last year and won't be doing the same for Cano. It was really just a pathetic attempt to try to get the Mets into a bidding war with the Yankees, so the price Cano ultimately signs with the Yankees would get inflated past what the Yankees standing offer is. Nice try, Jay-Z.

So, to my friends who are Yankee fans, I wouldn't sweat this. I'm betting that Cano won't sign on the dotted line until January at the earliest, and he will be back in pinstripes in 2014. Even if the negotiations with them becomes really rancorous, Cano is all about getting the most money, and I can't imagine him signing with any other team for less. The Yankee offer will be the highest one he's offered, and it won't be half of that ridiculous 10-year, $30 million deal he wants. Ultimately, he will have to settle for it. The Yankees hold all the cards right now, and Cano and Jay-Z know that.

Scott Boras (Cano's former agent) must be laughing himself silly right now.

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