6 Dec 2013
In a vacuum, what the Yankees didn’t do today makes perfect sense. Refusing to pay Robinson Cano a contract anywhere near 10 years or $240 million is very, very smart. The only question about the deal Seattle and Cano made today is when does Seattle start to regret it? (More on that later)
But, we are not operating in a vacuum and we have to look at the big picture. Why did the Yankees sign McCann and Ellsbury? Because they are trying to contend for a title this upcoming year. Losing Robinson Cano to the Mariners is a big, big obstacle to that goal. I’m not saying the Yankees should have signed Cano, but they are going to have to get creative for Plan B. (Hello Omar Infante?) And, they are going to have to strongly resist the urge to do something stupid to make up for this. (Carlos Beltran for three years) For now, let’s say the Yankees get an incomplete grade today. They were smart not to go beyond what they did, but they also have a huge hole to fill.
Cano is clearly a winner in all of this, but only from a financial standpoint. I am not discounting the money angle, but Cano will have to live up to that contract and that is going to be hard to do. For one thing, that is a significant part of Seattle’s payroll. While Seattle is a lot easier towards players than New York, it will be interesting to see what happens if Robbie gets off to a slow start. And, as A-Rod learned, signing that size a contract makes you a target on the road.
As for the Mariners, I don’t really understand this deal. This is a club that lost 91 games last year. They are clearly not a Robinson Cano away from contention. And, they have now put $50 million into two players- Cano and Felix Hernandez. The highest payroll the Mariners have had since 2001 is $117 million. On the surface, this looks a lot like A-Rod going to Texas and hoping to compete. And we know how that worked out.
And let’s hand out a raspberry to Robiie’s Dad, Jose Cano. Telling the newspapers that the Yankees “really don’t seem to want” your son, when they have offered over $150 million for him is simply offensive. Please stop talking now.
So now we can all move on. I hope that on April 29th, 2014, Yankees fans rise out of their seats and give Cano a standing ovation. He earned it for all he did here in nine seasons.
Oh yeah, Yankees got Kuroda back today as well. Nice move, but we can talk about it another day.
UPDATE- Very interesting update from Joel Sherman on how the negotiations between Cano and the Yankees went. Cano’s last request was for $235 million spread out over however many years the Yankees wanted.