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Robinson Cano free agency: Mariners may have topped Yankees offer

Nick Laham

The Mariners have stepped up their pursuit of Robinson Cano, and they may have already exceeded the Yankees' offer to him. According to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News, the Mariners were ready to exceed the seven-year offer worth $165-$170 million from the Yankees. Their idea was that they could turn Cano into a baseball legend that brought a World Series championship to Seattle instead of him being merely a Yankee legend.

McCarron says that the Yankees and Mariners are easily the two teams most involved in talks with Cano and his representatives. With the Yankees just inking Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year deal worth $153 million, it's likely impossible for the Yankees to continue to hold the line on their previous offer. Can they really tell Cano that he is worth basically the same as Ellsbury?

It had long been rumored that Cano's preference was to stay in New York and with the Yankees, but it's going to require the team being fair to him in order to keep their All-Star second baseman. It seems unlikely that they'd retain him for less than eight years and $200 million at this point, but it's clear after the signings of Brian McCann and Ellsbury that the Yankees aren't going to wait. They have a backup plan in place in the form of Shin-Soo Choo and seem very content to spend wildly until they put enough pressure on Cano to concede the extra years and dollars he wants.

The Yankees may still be the favorites to land Cano, but if they aren't careful he could very much end up going somewhere else that won't play hardball with him quite as much.