Friday, December 6, 2013

Yankees Lose Cano to Mariners for $240 Million

Robinson Cano, we hardly knew ye.

Cano is taking his talents to the Pacific Northwest, agreeing to a 10-year $240 million contract after he and his agent Jay-Z spent the night in Seattle coming to terms on the contract.

Cano gets what he wanted a lucrative contract that makes him one of the highest paid players in major league baseball history, tied for third with Albert Puljos of the LA Angles.

The deal is creating a lot of negative buzz by Yankees fans about Cano. Many of them feel he's a traitor; more feel the Yankees are better off without him.

Here are some cold hard fact:

In spite of what some Yankees fans are saying, they are NOT better off without Cano, at least in the short term. They have an aging baseball team with plenty of questions: from the health of Derek Jeter and Mark Teixiera, to the future of Alex Rodriguez and his pending steroid suspension.

The team added Jacoby Ellsbury during the week, but Ellsbury is no Cano, and his game resembles more of Brett Gardner then anyone else. Ellsbury's contract was a terrible deal, but the Yankees didn't want to pay Cano the money he was looking for.

Plus the help in the minors is very, very raw, and no help will be on the way for at least this season. So for the short term the Yankees will hurt without Cano.

Who would have thought going into 2014, the best player for the Yankees might be their new catcher Brian McCann.

While Cano is not worth $240 million, he was the best player the Yankees had. He was in his prime, a home grown player and a guy the Yankees could have made into a super star. Still the Yankees had their price, and Cano had his.

As for Cano, he just committed career suicide. Maybe he should have spoken with Puljos before making this deal with the Mariners. Maybe he should have looked at how bad the Brooklyn Nets are before saddling up with former Nets part owner, Jay-Z, who is his agent.

Cano decided to give up on a chance to play in New York for the rest of his career, with a chance to win World Series rings, and become a super star in pinstripes for a mediocre franchise in the Mariners.

Cano will drop off the radar in Seattle. That team is arguably the third best team in the division behind Oakland and Texas, and if the Angles ever their act together, the Mariners are fourth. Hey at least Seattle is better than the Houston Astros!

He is going to be asked to carry an entire franchise, an entire city back to relevance for the first time since A-Rod, and Ken Griffey Jr were there. Cano has never been a "grinder" who puts a team on his back for long stretches; being asked to be the "leader" is a proposition Cano cannot fill.

Cano was at his best when he had other bats in the line-up like A-Rod and Teixiera protecting him in the lineup. He is a torrid lazy player, something that got him into trouble sometimes in New York; it will only be magnetized in Seattle as the lone All Star there.

Once Cano gets older, the question will rise about his adjustments as a hitter. His reputation does not suggest that he will adjust well to old age. This could easily be a contract Seattle regrets by year 3 or 4 of the deal, as Cano's body breaks down.

Long term: the Yankees catch a huge break.

How did the Yankees respond to Cano's Seattle signing? They resigned their 2013 ace, Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year $16 million contract. Kuroda was the Yankees most consistent starter, pitching to a 3.31 ERA. The Yankees had to bring Kuroda back into the fold to fill out the rotation.

So who makes out as the big winner in the Cano deal? Initially, nobody makes out well. The Yankees lose a great player who could have filled a large void in their lineup. That same great player loses out on playing for a great franchise, and will ultimately kill the Mariners payroll for years to come.

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