News hit the Twitterverse today about the contract negotiations that the Yankees and Robinson Cano had a few months ago. The amounts discussed were never really revealed before they broke off. So what did the Yankees offer?
About Cano: It’s a negotiation. Players start high, clubs low. #Yankees’ initial offer before season believed similar to Wright’s 8/$138M.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 26, 2013
That's a low-ish starting point for the Yankees, but hey, never hurts to try. Cano and Wright are two months apart in age, though Cano has the obvious advantages of staying healthy and debuting later. Unsurprisingly, Cano declined that deal. The Yankees increased their offer:
Then the Yankees came back with 7 years at roughly $161 ($23 AAV).— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) September 26, 2013
That offer is a little closer to what the final figure might end up being, but it's still way from the the likely $200 million. Cano responded to this second offer with a uh... well...
Can confirm @Buster_ESPN report that Cano asked for a whopper. I heard it was 10 years, $310 million. Yankees not even close to that.— David Waldstein (@DavidWaldstein) September 26, 2013
Mah God. Joel Sherman reported that even if Alex Rodriguez hit all the performance incentives in his ridiculous 10-year, $270 million deal from 2007, it would fall $5 million short of Cano's proposal. It's not too shocking that the Yankees started with a low first offer and that Cano responded with a high starting point. The enormous gap between the two sides is appalling though since Cano basically asked for everything from the Sun to Alpha Centauri.
Cano is key to the Yankees' future, but he is far from a $230 million player, let alone a $310 million player. I don't even know who would give him a deal even close to $230 million after baseball executives watched the Yankees get burned by the second A-Rod deal and the Angels off to an awful start to the 10-year, $240 million Albert Pujols contract. Needless to say, he's going to have to dramatically decrease his expectations.
I've been about as big a Cano fan as anyone ever since his first day in the major leagues, but the Yankees have to be realistic. He's on the wrong side of 30, he plays a position that has witnessed many terrific players like Roberto Alomar take a sharp decline, and the Yankees have been crippled by every contract longer than six years aside from the extension they gave a 26-year-old Derek Jeter in 2000.
It's a long way from now until free agency, so there's still time for plenty of negotiations to get him back on a more reasonable deal. If some other GM wants to make the mistake of offering a $230 million deal to Cano, that can be his team's problem. Fans will have to just wait and hope for the best that Cano's deal ends up far closer to $200 million or somewhere thereabouts.
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