Sunday, December 1, 2013

Cano May Not Be in an Empire State of Mind

Robinson Cano insists that he wants to remain a member of the New York Yankees, but according to media reports, he and the only team he has ever known are about $80MM apart in contract talks.

Cano is the first big name client in rapper Jay-Z's entertainment agency, Roc Nation Sports. Cano had formerly been represented by uber PITA Scott Boras. Rumors spread like wildfire towards the end of the 2013 regular season and beyond that Cano wanted a 10-year, $300MM deal.

Cano recently denied that he had ever made such a contract demand, but that doesn't mean the people at Roc Nation Sports didn't spread that rumor. (Or possibly the Yankees). The Yankees reportedly put a 7-year offer on the table in the neighborhood of $160MM to $175MM, but the offer could be pulled if an agreement can't be reached with Cano in quick fashion.

The All-Star second baseman's demands actually aren't that far off of the 10-300 rumor. A 9-year contract worth $250MM - $260MM is supposedly what's on Cano's Christmas wish list. The Yankees might aqueous to the amount per year or a close compromise, but I don't see then going past the seven year offer.

What Cano and Jay-Z don't realize is that Cano is not in the same class as Miguel Cabrera,  Alex Rodriguez in his pre-cheating days, or a younger Albert Pujols. He's not going to bring fans out to the ballpark. He's a great hitter, but not elite. There are no .350 batting averages, 1.000 OPS seasons, or 40-50 home runs. He's one of the top fielders in the game, but other than possibly Ozzie Smith, fans don't pay good money to see a guy play defense.

Complicating matters is the A-Rod suspension hearing and eventual decision. The Yankees need to know whether they need to count $27.5MM or $2.5MM for A-Rod towards the 2014 luxury tax. The Yankees could possibly circumvent some of the issue by back-loading Cano's contract.

Another comlpication is Roc Nation Sports itself. Trying to play with the big boys, RNS wants to make a big splash with Cano's contract. But they could do more harm than good if they hold on to their contract demands for too long.

One final thing that should really be cleared up....Jay-Z is completing wrong in thinking "...I made the Yankee hat more famous then a Yankee can." That's more delusional than Cano's contract demands.

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