“Robbie Cano! Don’t Ya Know!” has become the famous call from Yankees’ radio announcer John Sterling every time Robinson Cano blasts a home run. But the Yankees may not exactly “know” what is the best course of action to deal with the superstar’s impending free agency.
Cano is line for a mega-deal, as the 30-year-old has been nothing but productive his entire career. And with Dustin Pedroia’s seven-year, $100 million contract extension with the Boston Red Sox, Cano has plenty of negotiating leverage.
The Yankees have a policy to forego contract negotiations during the season. This past offseason, the Yanks reportedly offered Cano a seven-year, $189 million contract, which he reportedly turned down.
The first question is how can any one turn down $189 million, which translates to $27 million per season. But the real question is what more could Cano possibly be looking for.
Does he really think a team out there would offer more money, more years or (in a perfect world) both? Many baseball pundits believed Cano should have accepted the offer, and he would have been set for life.
If there were ever a time to go against team policy for the Yankees, now is that time. Maybe if the team offers Cano the same seven-year deal for a bit more money, the two sides could work it out.
Cano is 30 and still has productive days ahead of him. It’s highly unlikely the Yankees would trade Cano during the season, but they can look to their cross-town rivals, the Mets, for how not to handle a situation with an impending superstar free agent.
In 2011, Jose Reyes won the batting title for the Mets, who lost all hope of competing early in the second half. Rather than trade him for prospects that could help in the future, the Mets attempted to sign Reyes in the offseason but offered him a contract that likely insulted him. He signed with the Miami Marlins instead.
Will the negotiations with Cano be similar to Reyes? Again, unlikely, but to ensure Cano remains a Yankee, it’s time to go back to the drawing board immediately.
It may be tough for the prestigious New York Yankees to actually break with team tradition, but the future at second base depends on it.
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