Speculation is a cruel mistress. She whips you with the "Cat o' nine tails" of doubt, impatience, confusion, gossip, anger, "I told you so", and sometimes the amusing fanpost. It's been a bumpy ride this year regarding our All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano. His contract is coming to end and many Yankee fans are in speculation mode, wondering whether or not the Yankees should bring him back due to the amount of years and money he'll want. Spoiler alert: both will be a [expletive deleted]ton. Normally this wouldn't be that big of an issue, since the Yankees are the Yankees and signing players to long term expensive contracts is their forte. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of punching you in the face.
The 2013 season has really punched the Yankees in the face. Repeatedly. This gif should demonstrate my point. Two days ago, Mark Teixeira was declared done for the season, making that long-term contract the Yankees signed him to very painful. So painful that replacement level Lyle Overbay could possibly be our first baseman all year. I shouldn't even need to go into the Alex Rodriguez contract. All I'll say on that matter is that it's so bad that talks of it have now evolved, or devolved, into insurance fraud scam speculation and supposed bitter contempt and mutual hatred between A-Rod and the Yankees. Forget the punch in the face. This is much more appropriate.
Here we are left wondering what is to become of Cano. Again, not to spoil anything, but if the Yankees keep him it's going to cost a lot of money for a long time. There's no denying Robbie's skills both offensively and defensively. Make no mistake, he is an elite second baseman. One of, if not, the best in the league. Those things don't come cheap. The Yankees know it and Cano knows it and Cano's new agent knows it. It's great that we're not dealing with Scott Boras anymore, but that doesn't make the blow to the wallet any easier. What makes it worse is that we have to wait till the end of the season to find out what will become of him. As Tom Petty said, the waiting is the hardest part.
Having said all that, there's still not a doubt in my mind that Cano will sign with the Yankees for the dreaded expensive, long term contract that will make even the most ardent of Robbie fan cringe. If you need a list why, here it is:
- His production cannot be replaced from the minors. If 2013 has provided any lesson whatsoever, it's that as excited as we are to see prospects get a chance, the majority of the time there's a reason they haven't been brought up besides dire necessity. Last I checked, we have no second baseman waiting in the wings.
- His production cannot be replaced via free agency or trade. Obviously there's no one on the market as good as Cano. Also, most general managers, perhaps aside from the Dayton Moore, are not that stupid. They know the Yankees are desperate this year and they will most likely not give up any prospects for a free agent they know they have little chance of signing at season's end.
- The Yankees are not, repeat, not patient. There is no looking to future with this team. There is only the "WIN NOW AT ANY COST" mentality and deal with the problem later. You know, like 2013 later.
- The Yankees, and more importantly their fans, love All-Stars. There's many a reason the Yankees signed A-Rod to A-Ridiculous contract in 2007. One of which is that he brings fans to the game. Same with Derek Jeter, which is why they had no leverage regarding his recent contract. Ichiro Suzuki is in pinstripes for two years because of the possibility of three thousand hits, the immediate Japanese viewership, and because Japanese beer isn't advertising itself on the radio. Cano is the continuation of this.
- The Yankees are still in contention. It does look grim right now considering we have the offensive capability of a Magikarp combined with a bottle of ZzzQuil. However, if you look at the standing at the halfway mark of the year, every team in the AL East has a .500 or above average. This division is still very winnable, especially now that there are (shudder) two Wild Card spots. The Yankees, hoping that their Magikarp offense evolves into a Gyarados, will need Cano to win.
- The Yankees have other pieces to trade. Factoring in the bullet point above, we're approaching the trade season and the Yankees have pieces to trade. We might love or very much hate the moves they makes due to said "WIN NOW AT ANY COST' mentality. Let's just say this might be the most interesting trade deadline season in a while to watch. We're talking more suspense than watching Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men.
To coin a popular Pinstripe Alley phrase, I'm callin' it. Cano will be in pinstripes this season, next season, and many more seasons to come. For now, I advise you to hope for a seven to eight year deal, to obviously expect more, and pray to whatever higher power you believe in (I choose the Force) that it goes a lot smoother than Jeter's did. Just make the blow swift and painful instead of slow and torturous.
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