Daring Robinson Cano to leave is not a sound negotiating tactic

11/24/13 in MLB   |   PAULLEBOWITZ   |   109 respect

Aug 10, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano (24) breaks his bat as he grounds out against the Detroit Tigers during the sixth inning of a game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY SportsThe overwhelming likelihood is that the Yankees will re-sign Robinson Cano. However, the ratcheting up of the rhetoric diminishing him is just now starting to go beyond the normal “he’s not all that” preparation for the possibility of him leaving/attempts to keep his price down. Cano is prideful and uncommunicative. This talk has to offend him. Once the contract is signed the contretemps, whispers and critiques will be forgotten, assuaged by a guaranteed $200 million.
 
That’s if he signs with the Yankees. Let’s look at the goings on with Cano and why this is starting to get nasty.
 
Cano’s Management Team
 
The bulk of the blame for the continuing awkwardness is being put on the shoulders of Jay-Z. It only grew worse when the crack dealer turner rapper turned crossover mogul invited the Mets’ front office out to dinner to discuss Cano. Of course it was a dig at the Yankees and the discussion presumably began with general manager Sandy Alderson fulfilling his role as the bad cop and telling Jay-Z straight out that the Mets weren’t going to sign Cano. The Yankees probably rolled their eyes at the blatant attempt on the part of Jay-Z to grease the skids. The Mets received inexplicable criticism for agreeing to the meeting. What were they supposed to say? No?
 
These meetings will take a familiar tack whether the club is actually interested in signing Cano or not. What will happen at these meetings with other clubs in which Jay-Z takes part is that the owners and GMs will shake his hand and treat him as their equal, but be condescending about it with a tone of, “The rap guy gets it!!” when they don’t think he does. They’ll expect the legal team to handle the bulk of the Cano negotiations. They will, but make no mistake about it, Jay-Z is involved. He’s done his research and is watching with great interest at what lesser players are getting. It’s also important for the future of Roc Nation Sports and the procuring of other clients that he does well with the Cano negotiations. Kids coming up will meet with Jay-Z as they enter pro ball, but business is business and if it comes down to who’s going to get them paid, they’re still going to gravitate to Scott Boras if the Cano contract isn't what was expected or what the market should bear.
 
The "blame the representation" is a smokescreen. No matter who was running Cano’s contract negotiations whether he was representing himself, had Scott Boras, Jay-Z or Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, he’d be under attack and advised from outsiders as to what he should do with his career.
 
The Yankees
 
Spurred by Hal Steinbrenner, the Yankees avoided repeating the vitriol they experienced with Derek Jeter after the 2010 season as they gave their captain a $12 million contract for 2014 when they didn’t have to. Back then, they used a strategy of daring him to leave in much the same way they’re currently teetering on doing with Cano.
 
There’s a difference.
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