Saturday, March 2, 2013
Cano's future with the Yankees
By Jason Catania
One of the biggest storylines heading into the 2013 season -- and one that may last through the entire year -- is the impending free agency of Robinson Cano.
The 30-year-old New York Yankees second baseman is a four-time All-Star, has been in the Top 10 of AL MVP voting three times, owns two Gold Glove Awards -- and is entering the final year of his contract. Cano's current deal will have paid him $57 million over six years (2008-13), but his next contract is going to dwarf that. Early estimations have put possible numbers in the range of $180-200 million over anywhere from six to 10 years.
There are a few key factors to consider with regards to this looming situation surrounding Cano and the Yankees...
One: The club makes it a point not to negotiate a contract extension with a player until the current deal is over, and yet, we've already heard from GM Brian Cashman that the Yanks apparently made a "significant offer" to Cano's camp, per Newsday's Erik Boland.
Two: Cano's agent is none other than Scott Boras, who prefers his clients to hit the free market, so as to drive up the competition -- and cost -- for their services.
Three: The Yankees have been focused on getting their payroll under $189 million for 2014 to avoid having to pay a steep luxury tax, and Cano's next deal would obviously count toward that.
Four: In Alex Rodriguez, New York is already seeing first-hand how paralyzing it can be when a massive contract is handed out to a superstar player on the wrong side of 30 and said player's production and/or health (or both) fall off a cliff. For what it's worth, Cashman, though, has already said that the regrettable A-Rod contract won't impact the club's decision to hand out another monster deal.
Points being, Cano's staying with the Yankees seems to be gaining steam on a few fronts, but little if anything is progressing, and there really are not even signs that the two sides are negotiating.
At the other end of this spectrum is the possibility that the Yanks actually could look to trade Cano this year, as the Daily News' Anthony McCarron speculated last month. The goal in such a scenario would be to restock the farm system and reload with young, cost-controlled major league (or major league-ready) talent. And the only way such a trade would possibly happen is if the Yankees underperformed over the first half of 2013.
More than likely, if this situation isn't hashed out in the next few weeks of spring training, it won't be resolved until next fall or winter.