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Yankees Hot Stove: Dr. Robinson Cano or How I learned to stop worrying and love the years

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Robinson Cano will be a free agent very soon. With his future Yankee status up in the air, do the years on his contract really matter all that much?

I could use a new pair of sunglasses. $300 million would help.
I could use a new pair of sunglasses. $300 million would help.
Stephen Dunn

Now that the 2013 baseball season has stopped backing over us with a spiked steamroller, offseason discussions are sure to be surfacing and resurfacing all across the league. For us, that means three primary things: the continuation of the Alex Rodriguez Festival of Fools, Masahiro Tanaka, and whether or not Robinson Cano will be the New York Yankees' second baseman come Opening Day 2014. My money is on Cano remaining with the Yankees. Well, not my money, but rather the Yankees' money. How much of it has yet to be determined. Cano's camp has asked for $300 million dollars over ten years and Hal Steinbrenner has said no. Given the history of the Yankees' need to outbid themselves when it comes to these matters, Cano will be signed for twelve years and Australia.

Not everyone is on board for signing him to a mega deal due to logical reasons of age, possible decline, and tons of money that could be used elsewhere. Like I mentioned earlier, I have already come to the conclusion that the Yankees are definitely going to sign him. If it were up to me, and it should be, I'd sign him for fewer years and more money. Something around a seven year, $250 million dollar contract. The contract is going to be absurd either way, and it's not my money, even though it should be. As I've had time to think about it, I am finding that I have less of a problem with giving him all the years he wants. It's not because of some crazy fanboyish love of Robinson Cano. That craziness is reserved for Brett "Southern Comfort" Gardner. It's primarily because I don't think it'll make that much of a difference in the long run.

Keep in mind, I do not think the Yankees should give Robinson Cano a ten year, $300 million dollar contract. Most likely, Cano will get something in the eight or nine year range. If he only gets seven years, many a victory gif will be posted. Even if he got a six-year deal, which he won't, the ultimate problem lies in the Yankees' ability to never let go of their beloved "True Yankee" superstars. Whether it's due to loyalty, talent, or the fact that they make the team money, the Yankees organization just cannot say goodbye.

The majority of people out there are concerned with the latter years of Cano's contract, and rightfully so. Consider another scenario though; the Yankees sign Cano to a seven-year deal and he excels for just five or six of those years before he starts to show his age. In that case, what do you think the Yankees do:

  • Explore other options at second base while sending Cano on his way, thanking him for his many years of service and wishing him the best of luck on another team
  • Sign Cano to a four-year deal and pay him more than he's worth at that age
Until the Yankees prove me wrong, I'm pretty sure they go with the second option. Instead of ten years with concerns about his age and decline, we now get eleven years with the same concerns and possibly more money lost. This is all hypothetical of course, but I certainly do not put it past the Yankees to do this. At least if we sign him to a nine-year deal, there is the possibility of another team taking him off our hands in the declining years. Okay, there's not much of a chance for that. What I'm trying to say is that we're pretty much screwed either way when it comes to both years and money.

The only thing that might change my mind regarding how they handle Cano in the future is how they handle Derek Jeter in the here and now. Let's not kid ourselves here. The Yankees are going into 2014 with Jeter penciled in as their primary shortstop. Unless he retires, he's penciled in as their primary shortstop in 2015 and 2016. Jeter is the best shortstop they've ever had. Cano might very well be the best second baseman they've ever had. We'll see how this all plays out. Barring a total business model overhaul or freak injury, I fully expect Robinson Cano to be a Yankee for ten years or more, no matter how many years are on this contract.

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