It is hard to believe but the New York Yankees appear to be breaking team policy and opening up dialog with the camp of second baseman Robinson Cano before his contract expires. To many this might not seem like a huge deal but for this organization it is.
Consider this; the Yankees did not discuss extensions with two sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famers in Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. You heard that correctly, the Yankees are doing something with Cano that they just do not do.
According to Hank Steinbrenner, managing general partner for the Yankees:
“There’s been a conversation or two, we’ll get into that, and we’ll talk about that at a later date. He’s been a great Yankee, and we hope he’s here his entire career.”
Why Cano and not Jeter or Rivera? Welcome to something that is probably driven by the agent. Cano is represented by powerhouse agent Scott Boras. Boras prefers to let his guys hit the open market.
Early speculation by many is that Cano, only 30 years old, could command a huge contract that would be at a high, probably top-tier, market value and up to 10 years guaranteed. That is a huge pill to swallow; even for the Yankees (they might have some post ARod style regret as well). It becomes even more troublesome considering the free-spending Yankees are in a state of fiscal restraint (well for them anyway) attempting to keep payroll below $189M to take advantage of the new Collective Bargaining rules relating to luxury tax in 2014. Could they sign Cano to a huge extension and still meet that goal? Sure it is possible but with Cano’s contract (if he signs an extension), A-Rod’s (assuming he is not gone), Sabathia’s and Teixiera’s contracts it would sure make things interesting.
Is Cano worth it? Could he get a $200M/10 year deal? Why not? He is a unique character with unique physical talents. Second basemen are not traditionally considered power hitters or offensive keys to a team but Cano is both. He is a four time All-Star that hit .313, 33 home runs and drove in 94 runs in 2012. There is not a lot of second baseman in history that can boast a line like that (and the ones who can reside in Cooperstown). In eight MLB seasons, all with New York, Cano has 177 HR, 715 RBI’s, a .550 slugging percentage and a career batting average of .308. He has also scored over 100 runs in each of the past four seasons. The four time All-Star is also the proud owner of four Silver Slugger awards and finished no worse than sixth in MVP balloting in each of the last three years.
YouTube Video Courtesy of MrHighlightVideos
Cano has also ranked second in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) in two of the past three years (7.8 in 2010 and 8.2 in 2012). It is not just his bat that warrants the payday, he just won his second straight Gold Glove award given to the most outstanding defensive player at a given position (six errors in 2012). He makes it look effortless and easy patrolling the right side of the infield at Yankee Stadium and on the road. He has finished no worse than fifth in double plays turned at second base in each of the past six years finishing first twice. Cano has also finished first in putouts for a second baseman in five of the past six years.
YouTube Video Courtesy of MrHighlightVideos
While his numbers will warrant the payday he will receive, what makes the Yankees break policy? I feel it is a combination of Boras as his agent and a bit of fear of the future. Derek Jeter is rounding out his career, ARod is a shell of what he used to be, they lost Swisher to Cleveland, and short of Teixiera there is no other “go to” guy in the lineup a couple of years from now. This is NY, this is the Yankees; they can’t have that. They have to resign Cano. He must stay in pinstripes to show the fan base, teammates, perspective free agents, and the media that the Bronx Bombers are still serious about winning.
Will they get it done before he hits the open market? If Scott Boras has his way they won’t but given the contract extension and the will to win Cano might just take the extension and become a Yankee for life. There are sure to be developments on this front so stay tuned to Sports Unbiased for the latest.
What will happen to Robinson Cano?
- Sign an extension with the Yankees (44%, 16 Votes)
- Enters free agency; signs with another team (22%, 8 Votes)
- Enters free agency; returns to Yankees (19%, 7 Votes)
- Traded (14%, 5 Votes)
Total Voters: 36