Most major baseball outlets are reporting this afternoon that the Seattle Mariners have offered Robinson Cano a 10-year contract in the range of $230-240 million. Cano is supposedly on his way to Seattle tonight for a meeting with Mariners brass.
The Yankees’ best offer is somewhere in the neighborhood of seven years, $170 million. Although that, of course, could change if they feel Cano might seriously consider Seattle’s offer.
Cano is, by most standards, the best free agent available on the market this winter. He’s a career .309 hitter and has routinely hit 25-30 home runs per season over the last five years. A big chunk of those come in Yankee Stadium and Cano did struggle to hit just six after the All-Star game in 2013.
Cano has also been one of the most durable stars in baseball in recent years. He hasn’t played in fewer than 159 games in a season since 2006, when he was a young player splitting time with Miguel Cairo. That goes a long way in determining his value, at least in my eyes. No one can predict how he’ll perform in the future, but at least he has a track record of being a guy who’s going to be in the lineup every day.
It’s seemed like a little devil’s advocate type of argument over the last six months…the Yankees wouldn’t actually let Cano walk, would they? Would the big-spending Dodgers make a splash?
Personally, I find it hard to believe that the Mariners would be a major player for Cano, since they have a million problems and plugging in one slugger wouldn’t solve too much at once. The Mariners, however, are going to pick up a big television revenue stream in the coming years, so the money probably isn’t an issue to them as much as you may think it would be.
Still, there have been some serious signs that Cano just might not be a Yankee for life, which is probably what most people expected at this point one year ago.
Will he give the Yankees a final chance to increase their offer after hearing from other suitors? I’d bet he – and his new agency, led by Jay-Z, would rather have their No. 1 client in a big market like New York instead of Seattle. Getting more money at the last minute would also make Jay-Z’s agency more attractive to future clients as well.
The Seattle news is a bold twist in this Cano story, but I doubt we hear that Cano will be soon holding an introductory press conference at Safeco Field anytime soon. I think this is just a play for Cano’s side to get more out of New York.