The Yankees were right not to outbid themselves for Robinson Cano*

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Robinson Cano's free agency has been a source of much frustration for Yankees fans for years. The idea that the Yankees could develop a player who puts up Hall of Fame-quality production, then simply let him go in free agency, is practically unthinkable. The Yankees are supposed to do that to other teams! The worst part to most fans (as I perceive it) is that the Yankees refused to negotiate after offering a 7/175 contract. Like any negotiation over salary, both sides need to compromise on what they would like the terms to be in order to find a fair middle ground. It's unacceptable that the Yankees would refuse to do so with a player of this caliber.

The problem is that free agency isn't actually much like a negotiation between, for example, a company and a union. It is far more like an auction. The teams are the bidders and the players are the auction items. It is not the items that negotiate a higher price for themselves, but rather the bidders that determine how much they sell for. Imagine an auction in which someone bids for an item, then no one places a bid for a few seconds, then the same person outbids himself. That would be a plain waste of money. Yet that is basically what the Yankees would have been doing if they negotiated a higher offer to Cano while they already owned the best one.

When the Mariners swooped in a month later with a much higher offer, the Yankees proved unwilling to top it. Was that the right decision? Much more open to debate. Opinions about Cano's worth have always varied. That is the inherent nature of opinions. The general consensus around baseball at the time was that the Mariners gave him too much money, but there have been reports that Cano was willing to give the Yankees a discount. In the years since, Cano has rarely seemed likely to make the Mariners regret giving him such a large contract. But with his suspension for probably taking PEDs, he now seems unlikely to even justify a discounted deal.

*This is a Fanpost in response to a call for unpopular Yankees opinions. Therefore, I am well aware that many people will disagree with me. Please do not use the comments section to yell at me. If you have something worthwhile to add, that is more than welcome. Also, for God's sake, do not complain about Jacoby Ellsbury. The last original complaint about Ellsbury was made in 2015. You are not adding to the discussion, you are merely satisfying your own desire to complain.

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