Cano Deal Considered... By a Mariner-Loving Yankee-Hater
First of all, as longtime Grand Poobah of the Bronx chapter of the Yankee Haters Club, I was laughing at the idea of anyone ponying up Cano’s reported initial asking price of 10 years, $300 million. The Yankees were laughing too because they only got their offer in the vicinity of 7 years, $175 million. Then, on Thursday, there were rumors that the Mariners were willing to go to 9 years $225 million. Maybe the Yankees countered with something (an extra year/some more money) but in the end it looks as if Seattle was bidding against itself to make sure they landed their man. Now let’s talk about that man for a moment.
There’s no denying that Robinson Cano is an elite player who merits a sizable contract. He’s a durable middle infielder who hits for power and average and is above-average defensively. There simply aren’t a lot of players like him. That being said, he played in a ballpark that was perhaps the friendliest in baseball for left-handed hitters. Even though Seattle moved their fences in, it’s simply foolish to think he’ll duplicate his home run totals playing half of his games at Safeco rather than that little league field in the Bronx. The other truly worrisome thing about Cano is his penchant for dogging it, more than occasionally. Getting a chance to see him play here in New York that past several years I see a guy who was playing towards this huge payday but who still refused to hustle. How’s that going to play out now that he’s been paid? To paraphrase Animal House’s Dean Wormer: Rich, bored, and lazy is no way to play baseball son.
On the other side of the coin, there’s the fact that Robinson Cano is no longer a New York Yankee. That does make me happy. Sure, the Mariners overpaid for him by a lot. But what do I care? It’s not my money. On top of which, there’s a little poetic justice to the way this went down. After all, throwing ridiculous sums of cash at free agents is what the Yankees have been doing to other teams for decades. They invented it, fer crissakes. Even if it’s not a smart business decision for Seattle, it’s good to see the Bombers come out on the losing end on this one.
The bottom line is, I still think Seattle gave Cano way too much money and at least two years too many. I also understand that they needed to go above and beyond to land him and find some way to get their sub-anemic offense jumpstarted. Will it work? Probably not. At least not until some of the other guys start hitting. But as for other GMs and assorted baseball people criticizing the deal saying it will damage baseball? They all desperately need to shut up. If this were the Yankees, no one would bat an eye. We'll know in a few short years if Seattle got even close to their money's worth and just how much, if at all, this hurt the Yankees.