Extension Time?

One thing that I hope the Yankees explore this offseason, is a contract extension for Robinson Cano. Cano will be 29 next season and since the Yankees have options on him for 2012 and 2013, he would be a free agent at 31.Assuming he keeps hitting, and I see no reason he won’t, he is going to ask for a massive deal when he reaches that point. How about the Yankees head him off at the pass and tear up those option year in exchange for a six-year deal now?

A six-year extension would sign him through the age of 34, probably just about the right time for the Yankees to no longer want his services. It would lock up a guy who has played 159 games or more in five-straight years and done so while playing great defense at second. It would lock up the most dangerous bat in the lineup for the remainder of the peak of his career.

Now there are risks. Obviously, it will cost a lot of money. The Yankees are going to pay Cano $14 million next season and $15 million in 2013. I would expect him to want a deal of somewhere around $20 million per year to rip up those options. Anytime you sign a long-term deal, injury is a risk, but remember that Cano has been an iron man for most of his career.

To me the huge advantage for the Yankees is that they avoid a headache in two years. Let’s say Cano puts up a 2012 and 2013 that are similar to his 2010 and 2011. How much do you think he would look for in that situation? Eight years at $20 million per would be my guess. Adding four years now, prevents you from paying him when he reaches his late 30’s. That’s a worthwhile move in my book.