While the Yankees are showing signs of life this week that have not been seen since before the All-Star break, fans are currently grasping at straws of hope that is the 2013 season. With that being said, one man’s choice has the potential to shape the landscape of the New York Yankees for the foreseeable future. There are many factors that Robinson Cano and his team will consider and this decision will be principally based on how seriously the Yankees wish to retain their most significant homegrown talent since the emergence of the "Core Four." His decision will immediately decide whether the 2014 Yankees have their perennial World Series or bust mentality, or if the team enters rebuilding mode for the first time since the early 90’s. Assuming the Yankees go all in on Cano, let’s try to weigh his options.
Why He Should Stay
This year, Cano has had the chance to experience what being the face of the Yankees is all about. With the D/L more reminiscent of the starting lineup than the actual card Joe Girardi tacks up in the dugout each night, the focus this year has been solely on Cano. Other teams have developed game plans around Cano and he has proven to be up to the task. Cano will put up his usual exceptional numbers at the plate and although he continues to excel in the field, his skills will likely decline over the course of the next deal. If eventually relegated to DH, Yankee Stadium is the most accommodating place to call home for a left handed slugger. Depending how the Alex Rodriguez drama unfolds, the Yankees will have more than enough room to max-out Cano and remain under their $189M mandate for 2014. There are also not many other places outside of NYC that can offer the capabilities to build the Cano brand. Much of this can be tied to the fact that Cano has the strongest resume to be considered for the next captaincy of the New York Yankees. 2014 will have the potential of being Derek Jeter’s last year in pinstripes after which, Jeter is not under contract, will be 40, and likely faced with a reduced role if both sides wish to extend his career. It has been rewarding as a fan to watch Cano mature over his career, and this is the next step in the maturation process for a player of his pedigree. He has the potential to follow many of the greats before him and be eternally remembered in Monument Park, if he so chooses.
Why He Should Leave
One of the more frightening things facing the New York Yankees is the possibility that 2013 is a sign of things to come for the foreseeable future. As it is currently constructed, the Yankee roster filled with aging, injury plagued players without many viable candidates capable of filling their shoes as father time has come calling. Out of necessity, the Yankees will be major players this offseason, but the upcoming free agent class isn’t any more enticing than the farm system. Cano will be the big fish and there will be no shortage of suitors for his services this winter as he explores his options as it is becoming a rarity that teams are not extending their elite players before their current deals expire. The most alluring offers may come from Los Angeles, given the Dodgers and Angel’s newfound penchant for burning cash. The unexpected resurgence of the Dodgers and explosiveness of Yasiel Puig may have decreased their need for a Cano-type player. One team that may be major players for Cano could be the Marlins. Miami has the ability to pitch Cano the opportunity to play with two of the most exciting young players in the game (Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez), a new ballpark, no state taxes (as if players are concerned about a thing such as money), and would immediately become the face of the franchise.
Security is something that all humans crave, and the deciding factor in all of this may come down to the number of years offered to Cano. The Yankees would be wise to cap their offer at 8 years to avoid repeating past mistakes of running out 40 year old players, but a team may be willing to go to 10 years to make the splash. It will be hard for Cano to turn down the two additional years of guaranteed money if it is presented to him.
What do you think Cano should/will do?