Robinson Cano, don’t you go

Redoing the 2006 Draft
Let's play the Brian Cashman blame game!

I am an unabashed Robinson Cano fan. I’ve always enjoyed watching him play the game. I love the enthusiasm and energy he brings to the team, and when he’s on, he’s as good a pure hitter as just about anyone in the game. I think he could be the second baseman on the Yanks for the next decade.

The Yankees may have other ideas in mind. According to Jon Heyman, the Yanks are open to moving Cano:

There’s more talk lately that the Yankees may consider trading Robinson Cano. The main reason apparently isn’t that he recently earned a benching for failing to hustle, but more because he has tremendous trade value despite his off-year and the Yankees have multiple needs. The Dodgers, managed by Cano’s first manager, Joe Torre, are said to be interested. The New York Post mentioned that possibility last offseason, well before Cano’s terrible year.

If the Yanks move Cano, Heyman speculates, they could go after Orlando Hudson. The current Diamondback will be a free agent this winter and will be turning 31 in December.

Now, off the bat, I won’t hold it against the Yanks if they opt to shop Cano. It never hurts to ask other teams what they would give up for some of the blue chippers in the system. But I’d be very hesitant to pull the trigger on a deal. This season, aside, Robinson Cano is an anchor around which the Yanks could construct a team, and the Yanks better make sure they get something really good in return.

But there’s another aspect of this move to consider as well. The man who would replace Cano will have a tough job. True, Robinson Cano in 2008 is very replaceable, but if he regains his 2005-2007 form — and there’s no reason to think he won’t — Orlando Hudson can’t come close to Cano.

Despite Sidney Ponson’s and Darrell Rasner’s presences on this team, the Yankees’ biggest problem this year isn’t pitching; it’s their offense. Plus, they can easily fill their pitching holes via free agency this year. Whatever Cano gets them has to address either their first base situation, their outfield situation or, potentially, their catching situation. But then they’d have to find someone who can fill second base and replace the offense Cano could provide. I just don’t think it’s worth it to fill a hole by creating another at the Big League level. I have nothing against trading the kids in the right deal, but the offer would have to blow me away if I were to move Cano.

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Redoing the 2006 Draft
Let's play the Brian Cashman blame game!
  • frits

    please. matt kemp alone would be enough.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I think it’d rather have Cano over Kemp.

      • http://www.barackobama.com/index.php TurnTwo

        but would you rather have Cano, or Kemp and Hudson, plus maybe another prospect?

        • frits

          if the offer was ajax and cano, and the LAD had kemp on the table (CF for CF), what would the second (or third) piece need to look like? kershaw?

          obv. this scenario is in the “far-fetched, won’t ever happen” category.

          • AndrewYF

            Cano, Hughes and Ajax for Billingsley, Kemp and Loney

            I’d do that in a heartbeat, of course, that means it’s a horrible deal for LA.

  • frits

    sweet jesus, i can’t believe we didn’t have interest in this:

    “Dodgers have an interest in Robinson Cano and might be willing to deal Derek Lowe and outfielder Matt Kemp, but the Yankees aren’t inclined to part with the red-hot second baseman unless there is a front-of-the-rotation-type starter coming to The Bronx. Lowe, who has the stomach for big games and has AL East experience with the Red Sox, doesn’t fit that bill.”

    • steve (different one)

      seriously.

      i can’t believe that Cashman didn’t call up and pull the trigger on an unsubstantiated rumor.

      • frits

        thanks for your blinding insight. maybe next time i’ll preface all of my comments with, “ASSUMING THIS RUMOR IS TRUE ON ALL FRONTS”, since it’s obviously not clearly implied that whether or not the rumor is true is a precondition for my disgust.

        thanks smartguy.

        • steve (different one)

          hey, any time.

          if you can’t see that any trade rumor that says “might be willing to deal” is little more than a wild ass guess by the author, i don’t know what to tell you.

          • frits

            thanks for your blinding insight. maybe next time i’ll preface all of my comments with, “ASSUMING THIS RUMOR IS TRUE ON ALL FRONTS”, since it’s obviously not clearly implied that whether or not the rumor is true is a precondition for my disgust.

            oh, wait, i just said that. care to restate your point again?

            • steve (different one)

              my point is that i was being a sarcastic bastard. i apologize.

              its a pet peeve of mine when people take “rumors” and judge the GM for not making said offer. for example, it drives me batshit crazy when people say that Cashman is an idiot for turning down Kennedy and Melky for Santana.

              i still shouldn’t have jumped down your throat. my bad.

              • frits

                fair point. i think i misunderstood your sarcasm anyway. if i had, i probably would have laughed. my bad.

    • BklynJt

      As an observation, the use of sarcasm on this site has jumped tenfold in the past month.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Fourth place does that to a fan base.

        • AndrewYF

          Hey, we’re tied for third.

      • steve (different one)

        wow, do you think so? i wonder how you made such an earth shattering discovery.

        just kidding.

  • E-ROC

    Ben, what type of player or package would wow you enough to trade Cano?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I’m in class right now. I’ll get back to you later today with that one. It’s a tough question because I’m higher on Cano than most Yankee fans are right now.

    • radnom

      Well he didn’t ask for a specific player(s) so I don’t think its that tough. You have to get a premier offensive talent back. A package of lesser, but servicable, players is NOT what the Yankees are looking for. You are not going to get someone at as valuable a position (2B) but thats what you get for selling after a bad year. Someone young, but with proven ability to hit at the major league level either at 1B or OF. I guess you would also trade him for a young ace type (like Lincicum or Kershaw) but that is not going to happen. In fact, based on these restrictions, I would be surprised if a deal happens at all. I’m in favor of sticking with him (unless an opposing GM makes an “offer you cant refuse”).

      • daneptizl

        I like me some Justin Upton.

  • ChrisS

    Jesus christ, if they have doubts about a guy and they’re going to move him, why the fuck aren’t they moving him when he’s worth the most or near it.

    If this is really Cashman’s MO (selling low and buying high), as it appears to be, the Yankees will suck for as long as he’s in charge. If there were internal doubts about Cano’s ability, they could have pawned him off on a dozen teams last winter for real talent and I don’t mean Derek frickin’ Lowe.

    If Cashman managed a fantasy football team like this he’d be eaten alive in most leagues. As it is, I bet he would have already traded Tomlinson for Michael Turner.

    • steve (different one)

      so you didn’t read the article at all, huh?

      let’s review:

      The main reason apparently isn’t that he recently earned a benching for failing to hustle, but more because he has tremendous trade value despite his off-year

      you seem to be on a rant for some reason that doesn’t really make any sense.

      selling low is bad. that much makes sense. but the point of this article is that the Yankees would NOT be selling low. they would be using an asset that has tremendous value (i am not 100% sure is this is true or not, just going on what the article says) to fill multiple holes. there could be some sense to this if you step back from the ledge.

      yes, i get it. you’re the guy who is pissed about the Nady trade. you’ve posted the same screed on multiple blogs over and over. that is your opinion and that is fine. most people think that was a pretty good trade, but again, you are entitled to your opinion. what i disagree with is that somehow one trade has now turned “selling low/buying high” into “Cashman’s MO”.

      maybe we should wait until something actually happens with Cano before we judge.

      • UWS

        Psst. Don’t let silly things like facts get in the way of a good rant.

        • UWS

          …”rant” being the original post you replied to, not your answer :)

        • ChrisS

          Facts like Cano is coming off a bad year?

          He was untouchable last offseason, he spits the bit this season, and all of sudden there’s interest in moving him?

          • steve (different one)

            it still completely depends on what comes back in return.

            if the Yankees traded Cano for Pujols, is that “selling low”?

            you are being too rigid in your logic here.

            • http://www.barackobama.com/index.php TurnTwo

              exactly. its only “selling low” if they actually in fact sell low.

            • ChrisS

              I’m sorry, I missed that part where Pujols was mentioned in the article.

              Of course I’d be in favor of any move where Cashman fleeced another team, but I’m not seeing any evidence of those kind of scenarios playing out in the past or in the future. Point to the Abreu trade all you want, but more often than not the Yankees have been overpaying for players for a decade.

              I’m not going to get caught up in fantasy trades where Cashman gets 2007 Cano value for the 2008 version.

              • steve (different one)

                Point to the Abreu trade all you want, but more often than not the Yankees have been overpaying for players for a decade.

                they have?

                what are you talking about?

              • steve (different one)

                I’m sorry, I missed that part where Pujols was mentioned in the article.

                of course not. just making a point. it’s impossible to say whether trading Cano would be selling high or selling low unless we know the return.

                there is also such a thing as selling “just right”. when both teams get good value, but fill different needs.

                that’s all i am saying.

          • http://www.barackobama.com/index.php TurnTwo

            i think there are a number of factors at play here.

            worries that he wont play hard everyday.

            concern that he regessed with the bat, didnt show any increase in his power, and has a lousy OBP with no real improvement in working counts and drawing walks.

            the idea the team needs a fundamental change in the clubhouse and on the field after this season.

            and he’s prob the most valuable commodity the yankees have on their current active roster, so he’ll bring more pieces back in return.

            among other things…

            • ChrisS

              and he’s prob the most valuable commodity the yankees have on their current active roster, so he’ll bring more pieces back in return.

              But not likely what they could have gotten prior to this season.

      • http://www.barackobama.com/index.php TurnTwo

        yeah, exactly. point being that while Cano had a bad season, most people who have interest in him now are still willing to, apparently, pay a near-premium price because they think he’s still the young star he was last season more than the dud he was this season.

        the Dodgers are a perfect fit, because they have Kershaw and Billingsley and Loney and Kemp and Ethier.

        now will Cano get any one of them by himself? eh, questionable. if the dodgers resign Manny, they’ll have a reason to move Kemp or Ethier to make room in the crowded OF.

        can we add to a Cano-package to convince them to include a Kershaw? hmm, intriguing, altho unlikely.

        • ChrisS

          most people who have interest in him now are still willing to, apparently, pay a near-premium price

          Near-premium, instead of premium. Other teams are interested in him because they can get him cheaper than last winter. How does that make things better for the Yankees?

          • http://www.barackobama.com/index.php TurnTwo

            it depends on what they actually get in return.

            we’re all speculating here, but my guess is yeah, you can still use Cano to get a bigger or better piece to the puzzle.

            they arent going to just give him away. i dont think you’re giving the Front Office enough credit here.

            if a deal makes sense, they’ll make it. if not, they wont.

      • ChrisS

        you seem to be on a rant for some reason that doesn’t really make any sense.

        No, it makes a lot of sense. Cano’s value is at a peak= untouchable, after a bad season, well we’d consider moving him. And teams are interested. No shit. Of course there’s interest, it’s an opportunity to pry a potentially great young player whose value has taken a hit and his price may drop. For clarity, I didn’t say his value hit rock-bottom.

        what i disagree with is that somehow one trade has now turned “selling low/buying high” into “Cashman’s MO”.

        Fair enough and I didn’t say it was, I said if it was. And floating trade rumors about Cano after his terrible season certainly isn’t a data point in Cashman’s favor. Some of his moves seem to be based on what happened yesterday than on what will happen tomorrow based on last week (that’s a metaphor for the slow-witted). And that’s not just trades.

        maybe we should wait until something actually happens with Cano before we judge.

        You’re right, Cano hasn’t been traded, but there certainly wasn’t any speculation about moving him last winter (other than Minnesota throwing asinine trade rumors out all over the place). That alone says a lot.

        Nah, nevermind, “Shut it down, boys.” No more speculation. Ben, Mike: no more posts on what might happen. Focus only on what has happened. It’ll be a better blog.

        I’ll stick to facts then, Nady – last 37 games: 36:9 K:BB .255/.306/.434/.740. A fantastic addition to a weak offensive team, well worth a top positional prospect from a weak positional pool. But I’m sure he’ll blow our socks off next season based on his career 109 OPS+.

      • frits

        steve makes a fair point here, unlike what he did above. the article clearly says this is not a sell low time for cano, even though he clearly sucks &#*@& right now.

  • Mike Pop

    I agree with this article.. I’d need Kemp and one of their studs (kershaw, billingsley) but that obviously wouldnt happen. We couldnt get Loney and Kemp either so why even bother dealin 2b to fill a hole at CF and than get a hole at 2nd… Not many options here I’d stay with Cano and if he has another horrible season than we might have to deal him but obviously you wouldnt be able to get the same amount but Cano is solid for the future…. Soooo much talent.. Cano for Loney and Kemp I’d pull in a heartbeat tho but unfortunately that aint happening

  • Axl

    Why not try to bat him 3rd in between Jeter and Arod…and see how many fastballs down the pipe he gets to swing at? If that doesn’t resurrect his average..I don’t know what will…

    • Axl

      It’s not a bad righty, lefty, righty combo either. The problem is his bad OBP…but it could get better…he’s still young and stupid. The fastballs should help though…

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        Joe Torre tried to move him up for two or three games. He didn’t produce, therefor, we can deduce that he does not have the “make-up” to bat any higher than sixth. Ever. Forever ever. Never, never ever.

        Maybe we can trade IPK and Melky for Cano……sorry, force of habit.

  • steve (different one)

    huh, this is from the same article. surprised no one has mentioned it:

    Cashman understands that the Steinbrenners always have the right to over-rule him, as they did by giving Jorge Posada an extra year and by giving Alex Rodriguez two extra years after swearing that they were out of the bidding following Rodriguez’s opt out.

    if this is true. and i am not sure it is since it’s Heyman, then the Yankees could be royally F**KED if Cashman leaves.

    not because there aren’t any other available GMs who could do Cashman’s job just as well or better, but because if Cashman leaves there is the very real chance that Hank becomes the quasi-GM, and if the above is true, that is nothing but bad news for Yankee fans.

    • http://www.barackobama.com/index.php TurnTwo

      yeah, but you know, i dont trust Heyman with that kind of info. i think he throws that in to make his articles juicy, but i really question the validity.

      • Steve

        Not a big Heyman fan myself. Heavy on innuendo and short on substance.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      This probably isn’t the forum in which to have this discussion, but you just hit on my biggest fear re the whole Cashman situation. I’m scared Cashman will leave not because I think he’s some sort of genius, but because if he goes, I don’t think the Yankees are bringing in a top-level GM (or even an up-and-comer) and giving them any sort of authority, and I don’t think any baseball executive with good career prospects would take the job with the Yankees. Why would someone with any sort of prospects willingly walk into a situation where they’ll not have authority over personnel decisions? Cashman has been with the Yankees his entire career, has said this is basically his dream job, and has the opportunity to stay with the Yankees past this season. If he (of all people) turns that down because he thinks he’d be happier and have a more successful career elsewhere,, I’d think that would be a MAJOR deterrent to any potential replacement. And before you know it the Steinbrenners are calling the shots without a strong G.M. in place to run the organization. Welcome to 1989 (shudder to think).

      Personally, I think that’s the biggest question the Cashman detractors need to address. This isn’t just about Cashman, it’s about the future of the F.O. in general. Cashman’s significance and value to this organization is in his intent/ability to form an effective front office and player development system. If he leaves there may be a power vacuum and I for one do not have too much faith that it will be filled by the right people.

  • MJ

    If they can get something sweet for Cano from the Dodgers (or any other team, for that matter), then it’s something to think about. But why Orlando Hudson to fill the hole at 2B?

    I admit I haven’t seen him play since he was traded from Toronto so I can’t say anything about his defense (although I hear it’s quite good) but he’s a league-average bat. Yes, league average would’ve been an improvement over Cano this year, but I like to think that 2006/2007 were more of the “real” Cano and that the downgrade from Robbie to O-Dog would be a big drain on our offensive potential.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    This is going to be an interesting situation because the Yanks don’t have to move Cano. It’s not like they have another 2B waiting in the wings to take his spot, like the Orioles with Brian Roberts & Jerry Hairston Jr. a few years ago.

    They would have to get 2 young everyday players for Cano, that’s the only way you can deal him. I don’t think they’ll move him unless they’re blown away.

    • steve (different one)

      what if it’s Peavey?

      • Mike Pop

        idk if id do it …hehe

    • Reggie C.

      - Mike,

      When you say 2 everyday players — are you saying 2 all-star caliber players? A guy whose OBP is probably on the lower end of a .365 to .300 range isn’t going to net you 2 potential all-stars. A guy whose slugging over is also wildly unpredictable ….and so forth.

      We’d be lucky to get Matt Kemp in a straight up trade.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        No, two everyday players. Not necessarily all-stars, but legit everyday players.

        • http://www.barackobama.com/index.php TurnTwo

          how about a young pitcher and an everyday player?

  • Reggie C.

    Imo, Cano won’t land us anything top-notch beyond Matt Kemp. Cano’s value has fallen that much. I dont know what BEN K has seen in Cano this year to make him think that Cano’s value demands a first-rate pitcher + potential All-star caliber CF in return.

    I would however try to pry Scott Elbert from the Dodgers. His star has fallen far from those days when scouts would drool over a potential 1-2 punch of Kershaw / Elbert. Still … Elbert could be available.

    • Jack

      I dont know what BEN K has seen in Cano this year . . .

      That’s the thing. He’s proven what he can do. One year does not make or break a career.

      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Also… While he had a down year, I think if you put yourself into the shoes of another organization, you’ll see plenty of value in Robinson Cano. Who else is out there, at 2B, who you’d want over Cano? Even after a bad season, he’s got (or at least should have) a TON of value on the trade market. If I was a fan of another team… since everyone using them as the example I’ll use the Dodgers… I’d be chomping at the bit over the prospect of acquiring Robinson Cano. If I’m the Dodgers I trade Kemp for Cano in a heartbeat, and I pop open a bottle of champagne for good measure.

  • zzzzz

    jeez. makes me wonder what could be done with a cano/hughes or cano/kennedy/??? 3 way trade with another team.

  • Manimal

    I kidded Wang about showing his face at Fenway Park next week. He threw that brilliant game up there in April, allowing one run on two hits over nine innings.

    “The fans will say, ‘You suck,’ ” Wang said. “I will say, ‘See you next year.’ ”

    hahahahah oh damn.

  • Mike Pop

    I love Cashman but it wouldnt be such a huge deal if he leaves… The organization knows what prospects to keep and most likely wont make a move that depletes the farm for nothing.. Plus the Nady trade took away most likely a future star. I never liked it from the beginning but I dont fault Cash for doing it at all

  • Patrick T

    I didn’t really like the Nady trade entirely either, but I did think given where they play, they had to give the appearance of going for it, and I thought Cash did a good job (as he always does at the deadline) of not mortgaging everything. Still, I think Nady is an average player having a career year and Tabata was awful young to cut bait on. That said, they did the same thing on Henry in the Abreu trade and that worked out brilliantly. My problem wasn’t so much with what they gave up as it was with my concerns about Nady being a lot more than a second division corner outfielder having a career year.

    As for Cano, if they were to trade Robbie for a 5-star position player prospect and make a move to improve the infield defense I could get behind it. If they could somehow pry Hu away in a Kemp deal, I’d like to see them really make it part of an offseason restructuring. Just totally spitballing here but if they deal Damon while he’s got value (good 2008, only 1 year left on his deal) and let Abreu and Giambi go, make this Cano deal and then either sign Hudson or Furcal if they’ll come for short term (I don’t mind overpaying on a 2-year deal,) they could line up in 2009 something like this:

    C: Posada, preferably with a backup more able to hit in case his injuries force him into catching <80 games.
    1B: Nady/Matsui/Miranda
    2B: Hudson or Hu
    3B: A-Rod
    SS: Hu or Furcal
    LF: Jeter
    CF: Gardner/Melky/A-Jax
    RF: Kemp
    DH: Matsui + a rest for the aged

    Then go ahead and sign Sabathia and bring back Moose for this Rotation:
    Sabathia, Wang, Hughes, Joba, Moose, with IPK, Aceves and assorted organizational arms as backups for the inevitable Joba and Wang missed starts.

    Bullpen can again consist of organizational arms, I’m happy to let Marte go for a pen of God, Bruney, Robertson, Coke, Veras, Edwar and Melancon, plus possible auditions for Huberto, Stephen Jackson et al.

    That team is a lot younger and cheaper and more flexible if there are injuries, assuming you used the Damon deal to add more depth to the system. For that matter, the money is there if you wanna get Burnett or Sheets or what have you and you can use a little more of that pitching depth to upgrade the bench/system. The key here is you’ve followed the Rays 08 blueprint of upgrading your defense and pitching and you probably get the same offense you have this year. Next year, when Matsui comes off the books (I assume he’s untradeable at this point) you can spend on another impact bat.

    Of course, they won’t do anything like this if the Bros. Stein are giving up on the system after one bad year and they’ll dole out albatross contracts to the likes of Teixeira and Manny or some such and we’ll continue to get to watch overpaid oldsters battle for the wild card like we have for the last 3 years.

    If the Yankees have really learned the lesson of the 2000s (and the 1980s) for that matter, it pitching and flexibility that matter, not being able to field a fantasy team.

    • Reggie C.

      a bit off-topic no?

      • Patrick T

        yeah, I suppose it was. Spirit sort of moved me thinking about Cano. Point I was trying to get at was you can’t move a young affordable talented 2B for just a young affordable OF, you have to get something else.

    • Matt

      I really doubt that Jeter will play anywhere but SS next year. He will want to play SS for the first season in the new park.

  • Mike Pop

    Lil farfetched Pat T but i like the idea

  • Mike Pop

    I dont see Jeter being moved to Left Field next season either

  • Mike Pop

    What bout Cano for Harang and Philips lol !

  • Mike Pop

    How bout Damon for Kelly Johnson and we use Kelly and something else for Kemp

  • pat

    i have to agree with mike this has to be an attempt to try and fleece ned coletti. Theeres no way you can trade this kid after such a bad year when a year ago he was literally untouchable. Unless some idiot gm wants to hand us king felix or clayton kershaw or timmy lincecum no thanks.

  • Manimal

    Cano for Dejesus. I wish.

    • Infamous

      no thanks

  • Baseballnation

    Maybe not lincecum but what if the Giants would be willing to offer Cain for Cano? They have decent pitching in the wings for the relatively near future and Cano would provide them with a young corner stone type offensive piece? Cano and say a mid level prospect like Coke, or MCcutchen…Sounds beneficial to both sides

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      The Pirates may have something to say about that proposal.

  • E-ROC

    The Dodgers, Giants, and the Diamondbacks seem to be good trading partners for the Yanks, if they choose to trade Cano.

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  • Baseballnation

    I did not mean McCutchen in the deal, what I was getting at was throw in a mid level guy like a coke or a McCutchen, a person that helps supplement that void albeit not entirely while packaging Cano

  • ortforshort

    If the Yankees trade Cano this winter, they’re idiots. If you’re going to trade him, do it after a big year when his value is at its highest, not after this year when he had a career bad year. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to see Cano hit .350 next year so why give him away for nothing? I realize he had his head up his ass this year, but he’s a big time talent. Trade him to significantly improve the talent level of the organization, not as a knee-jerk (emphasis on the jerk) reaction to an off year.

  • DonnieBaseballHallOfFameDotCom

    “I have nothing against trading the kids in the right deal, but the offer would have to blow me away if I were to move Cano.”

    Sorry but we don’t believe you. With the whole save the big three thing, and some of your other over valuing the Yankees players as a whole.

    I was a big Robbie Cano fan, but Robbie Cano did not develop, he regressed. The bone head plays he would make from time to time should have gone away not increased.

    Giving away 2 plus at bats a game, no matter how good you are just will not work at this level.

    If we can get a young cheap athletic CF or RF with speed and sound fundamentals in exchange I am on board for a trade, then we get Hudson to fill second. That makes our team better.

    Cano may then go on to be the MLB version of Chris Carter (Buddy Ryan had to trade him to the Vikes for him to wake up an smell the coffee), and be a great all around player but I do not think it is happening here.

    And for the record Torre should have benched Cano a few times early on to help nip this problem in the bud. Joe G. also waited 6 months too long this year in doing it as well.

  • DonnieBaseballHallOfFameDotCom

    and BTW I was for a trade of Cano this PAST offseason as well…