Reyes deal reinforces need to extend Cano’s contract right now

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(AP Photo/LM Otero)

One week ago, we learned that Jose Reyes was leaving the Mets to join the suddenly free-spending Marlins on a six-year contract worth $106M. The deal includes an option for a seventh year as well. The Mets lost their most popular and almost certainly their best player simply because they couldn’t afford him given the team’s financial plight. Thankfully, the Yankees don’t ever figure to have that problem, at least not anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be proactive about locking up their core players.

Reyes and Robinson Cano are similar players but different. Reyes is a leadoff guy whose game is build on speed while Cano is a middle-of-the-order bat with a sweet swing allergic to soft contact. They were born roughly eight months apart (Cano is older) in the Dominican Republic and are both six-win middle infielders at their best. Reyes has some injury concerns the crazy durable Cano doesn’t, but it’s very clear that Reyes’ new deal with the Marlins will be a benchmark for Cano’s next contract. That’s why they need to sign him right now.

I’ve suggested a six-year pact worth roughly $120M in the past, a contract that seems very realistic now that we know what Reyes got. If fact, it seems like a bit of a bargain given his utter lack of injury problems. The idea would be to guarantee Cano’s options for 2012 ($14M, this has already been picked up) and 2013 ($15M), then tack on another four years at $20M per season. Add in a signing bonus, a buyout of a seventh year option, and stuff like that gets you to $120M total. Signing Robbie now and locking up his age 29-34 seasons is much more preferable than waiting for him to hit free agency in two years and buying his age 31-36 seasons.

I generally agree with the Yankees’ philosophy of not signing players until their contracts expire, especially when it comes to pitchers, but Cano is a definite exception. He’s a special hitter at an up-the-middle position, their best all-around position player, a homegrown star, the whole nine. That’s the kinda of guy that deserves a long-term deal. If Cano has two more years similar to his last three, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be looking at a Matt Kemp kind of contract on the open market, which is something the Yankees should try to avoid by talking about a contract now.

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  • crawdaddie

    Both the Pujols and Reyes experiences tells me the Yankees should look to extending Cano now as long as Boras/Cano are reasonable with their contract proposals. I don’t want the Yankees paying another player until he’s 40 years old.

    • Eric

      “as long as Boras/Cano are reasonable with their contract proposals.” There’s your problem. This is not likely to happen.

      • Dave203

        Keep in mind, stuff can happen to players and they look to lock up long-term too. Also, Boras gets commission — just like anyone, he’d rather see a bigger deal now too.

        That said, neither is going to give a dramatic hometown discount, but there needs to be some give and take or what would be the incentive for the Yanks. Cano will be a lifetime Yankee, its just a matter of what his cost is. He has the chance to be the top 2B in Yankee history if he plays his cards right.

        • Ted Nelson

          Like the give and take on the A-Rod and Soriano negotiations?

      • Urban

        While the belief is that Boras always takes his clients to free agency, there have been some recent exceptions, including Carlos Gonzalez and Jered Weaver, although the latter seemingly signed his extension against Boras’ advice.

        My guess is Boras won’t go for what will amount to only a four-year extension, since the current two year extensions were negotiated by Cano’s former agent, meaning Boras doesn’t get his cut. Boras will want more than an $80 million contract for Cano for Boras’ own benefit.

  • infernoscurse

    what about D-Rob to something team friendly similar to matt moore, obviously not as much as he got

    • Soriano Is A Liar

      I would think this isn’t as important, because the worst case (in terms of money) for D-rob is that he ends up as Ryan Madson this year, a great setup man with potential to close (which is basically best case for the team, it could mean they shell out to keep him as Mo’s ‘replacement’). Even if that priced him into a Papelbon-type contract, it’s not nearly as bad as having to pay huge money for decline years on a core player if you can avoid it.

    • the Oberamtmann

      It would have to be more. Moore is still a rookie; D-Rob is entering arbitration.

      • Soriano Is A Liar

        But as good as D-rob is, he’s still a reliever. The Yankees don’t need to take on that kind of risk for a guy that isn’t likely to command huge raises anyway. Even if he gets paid in arbitration, it won’t be on the level that Moore has potential for.

  • Countryclub

    I know I’m in the minority, but I think the yanks are going to let cano walk after 2013.

    • the Oberamtmann

      To be replaced by… who, exactly?

      • Sayid J.

        I’m sure in the next 2 years options will arise. Besides, Yankees did just win posting for a MI. There are definitely options.

        • Craig Maduro

          I don’t see Nakijama (I hope I didn’t butcher that) playing any role in the Yankees’ decision to extend or not extend Cano.

          • T.O. Chris

            Close. Nakajima. You just switched the A and I.

            • Craig Maduro

              I knew it was one of the two. I was on my slow cpu though so I didn’t feel like looking it up.

    • JAG

      Genuinely curious, why on earth would the Yankees do that? Unless David Adams suddenly stops getting injured, the Yankees would have no one who can even reasonably play 2nd base, let alone come close to replacing Cano’s production. Cano has shown no signs of decline and is easily the best hitter on the team. What reason would they have for just letting him walk?

    • Dave203

      Please do substantiate such a ridiculous prediction? Which player are the Yanks signing to replace him in 2014 or who exactly do we have in the farm to replace him.


    • Craig Maduro

      I would like to see what your reasoning is for this as well. Cano, even during his age 31-36 seasons, is likely to remain the best 2B in the game and one of the best players overall.

      • T.O. Chris

        I disagree with this statement to some degree. I think you could see a huge, fast decline out of Robby at around age 33. Second baseman in general don’t age well into their mid 30’s and Cano’s skill set isn’t exactly one prone to late age success either.

        At a certain point his bat speed is going to fall off, when that happens his value is going to decline quickly. He doesn’t walk at all, which isn’t a trend likely to all of a sudden change. If he loses the ability to hit as many bad balls as he does now due to decline in bat speed, which could lead to a reduction in power, while also maintaining similar walk rates, you’re looking at an average player.

        If he starts hitting .270 while posting .320-ish OBPs he’s going to look like completely different player.

        I think he will be re-signed long term, but I also think we will regret the final years of that deal badly.

        • Craig Maduro

          I don’t think that’s the most absurd theory, but I’m not too worried about it with Cano. A player’s prime years are considered to be 27-32, but I think that range has been extended in recent years – and not just by PED’s. Maybe he won’t remain in the top-top tier, but I’m confident that he’s got the work ethic and the elite skills to remain more than productive as he ages.

          • T.O. Chris

            Roberto Alomar is considered one of, if not, the greatest 2B of all time and has been compared to Cano quite a bit. His last good season was 2001 when he was 33 years old. He went from a 6.7 WAR in 2001 to a combined 1.8 WAR over the next 3 years. Cano has more power than Alomar but Roberto also showed better plate discipline and much more speed over his career.

            Roberto Alomar’s decline:
            2001- .336/.415/.541, .412 wOBA, 20 HRs and 30 SBs in 157 G
            2002- .266/.331/.376, .316 wOBA, 11 HRs and 16 SBs in 149 G
            2003- .258/.333/.349, .307 wOBA, 5 HRs and 12 SBs in 140 G

            That is a huge and sudden decline.

            Most of the top 2B in baseball history didn’t last much past 33 at their best, to expect Cano to break that trend with his skill set isn’t the wisest bet.

            • Craig Maduro

              Maybe to say that he’ll remain elite beyond 32 is a bit of a stretch, but I have no reason to think that he can’t remain a very productive player in that span. He’s got a strong work ethic and he’s a smart hitter which should allow him to keep his skills sharp and make adjustments. Whether he actually does the latter remains to be seen, but I guess I just have more confidence in him.

              • T.O. Chris

                Work ethic has nothing to do with it. You can’t work so hard your declining skills stop declining, that’s just the age process. I don’t think he’s lazy and that will cause the decline, his skills will eventually just not be as sharp as they once were. Once that happens, and it will, he won’t be the same player who can stroke any ball from anywhere near the strikezone he is now.

                I also don’t know how “smart” a hitter Cano truly is, he is a very talented hitter who does a lot of dumb stuff at the plate. He continues to show very little patients at the plate and a lot of times when he does take a pitch it’s not because it was a bad pitch to hit, it was because he was taking the whole way no matter what. Several times a game he just bails out on a pitch as soon as it comes in to show he’s taking a pitch.

                He simply thinks he can hit any pitch that is thrown up without being extremely selective. Which for the moment is very true, but eventually walking 5.1-5.6% of the time isn’t going to cut it. When he’s physically no longer able to get to many of the balls he can now his average is going to go down, that’s when you need the OBP to go up.

                I know Kevin Long pulls his hair out with Robby all the time trying to get him to walk more, but he doesn’t do it. He looks at it like trading a hit for a walk, when it reality most of the time you are trading an out for a walk with his skill level. He walks less than Vlad Guerrero did in his prime, and exactly as much as Vlad did in 2010 and 2009.

                Vlad’s Career BB% is 8.1 %, his career K% is 10.9 %.
                Cano’s career BB% is 5.1%, his career K% is 11.5%.

                That’s troubling. Vlad hit .290 this year and could still only muster a .317 OBP because he simply doesn’t allow a pitcher to walk him.

                • Craig Maduro

                  You can’t tell me that work ethic has nothing to do with it because it absolutely does. I’m not suggesting that Cano is going to defy age until the 2020’s but when you work as hard as Cano does (based on what I’ve seen and read) you can slow down the process. At this point I can’t remember what our original discussion point was, but I think Cano can still be very very good hitter through at least age 34 before we see significant regressions.

                  • T.O. Chris

                    I didn’t say it had nothing to do with it, I just don’t think you can work your work ethic can stop age. Sure he can keep himself in top physical condition and workout as much as possible, but when your bat speed goes it goes. You can start cheating on fastballs at that point, but then that leaves you much more vulnerable to offspeed pitches and your K% os likely to rise. Which then makes your ability to walk even more important.

                    I would hedge my bets at 32-33, which is only 4 years away. If Cano gets a 7 year extension at age 31 he would finish the contract at 38-39 years old. He isn’t going to play well enough for that. You will regret the last half of that deal.

                    Even if you give him 7 years right now he still finishes the deal at age 36.

                    • Craig Maduro

                      The exact line in your response was “Work ethic has nothing to do with it.”

                      Neither one of us necessarily wants him locked up at a poor price into his late-30’s and we both recognize that the lack of walks is far from ideal. I just think he has the ability to fend off a dramatic decline a little longer than some others do.

                    • T.O. Chris

                      I meant that I wasn’t implying that he was going to decline based on poor work ethic. I know Robby works hard, Alex got him to start doing that. But age catches up with even the hardest working players, Arod being a real example of just this.

                      As I said a good work ethic can make sure you are in prime physical condition, which can keep you from an early physical decline that not taking care of your body can get you to. But I don’t believe you can work so hard age goes away. Once bat speed starts to go there is no machine in the gym to fix that.

                    • Craig Maduro

                      Gotcha. Well, he’s definitely not going to hold off age for good. I would feel safe through his age 36 season though. He won’t be elite by then, but I still think he could be very very productive.

      • Paul from Boston

        There’s little to support this POV. His defense is declining and his lack of OBP is troublesome. If his defense declines as much in the next two years as it has the last two, he’s barely a 2B.

        • Craig Maduro

          His defense isn’t declining and defense – or range at least – was never really considered one of Cano’s strengths anyway. I agree with the OBP concerns, but I think he has the skills to continue hitting at an elite level even beyond his age 32 season.

          • T.O. Chris

            The problem is his current skill set is usually the first thing to decline. Guys who walk a lot and slug because of big powerful bodies usually last longer than guys who rely almost entirely on bat speed and bad ball hitting.

            I think he has the skillset to hit at an elite level until at 32-33, after that he scares the heck out of me.

            • Craig Maduro

              Don’t the big power bodies breakdown more quickly than leaner athletic ones?

              • T.O. Chris

                Depends on the skill set. Look at a guy like Jim Thome, he has been extremely productive offensively through age 41. His skill set is walks and power, that carries longer than a guy like Cano.

                I wouldn’t bet on a guy like Reyes or Cano being in the league come 41, yet alone being as productive as Thome over the last 3-5 years.

                37- .275/.410/.563, .410 wOBA, 35 HRs, 130 G
                38- .245/.362/.503, .370 wOBA, 34 HRs, 149 G
                39- .249/.366/.481, .367 wOBA, 23 HRs, 124 G
                40- .283/.412/.627, .437 wOBA, 25 HRs, 108 G
                41- .256/.361/.477, .362 wOBA, 15 HRs, 93 G

                I’ll take the high OBP guy every time late into their careers over a guy like Cano who relies on a high average.

                • T.O. Chris

                  The eye never goes away. A guy can always work walks even if his bat speed starts to go away, if you are generating power from power that should still be around as well. A guy with a bad eye for working walks and power derived from bat speed will almost always decline first and faster.

                  Injuries can always effect anyone obviously. The skill set decline is what I’m talking about.

                • Craig Maduro

                  How about Rod Carew? He’s the guy that I remember Cano being compared to the most. It’s only one guy and he didn’t stay at 2B after age 32, but the dude continued to rake well after that.

                  • T.O. Chris

                    I don’t see them being very comparable at all. Carew averaged 4.84 HRs per year over the course of his career, and only hit double digit HRs twice in his entire career.

                    Carew also had a BB% over 10.0% 9 different years in his career, something Cano has never done.

                    Carew was primarily a leadoff man most of his career, Cano is a middle of the order bat. Both hit for high averages, but that’s about where the comparisons stop.

                    • T.O. Chris

                      Carew also only ever had 2 seasons in his entire career with a BB% under 6.0%, Cano has only had 1 year above that mark thus far in his.

                    • OldYanksFan

                      True. For his career, Robbie’s OBP is .039 pts higher then his BA. Carew was at .065 pts, and maintained that in his latter years.

                      I love Robbie, but his refusal to take a walk hurts his value and will add to his (eventual) decline.

    • T.O. Chris

      It’d more likely that they pick up his final option and trade him. They won’t let him walk away for nothing at his peak value. Either they re-sign him (most likely), or they simply trade him (least likely).

    • well you know

      I wouldn’t predict that outcome; he’s most likely a keeper.

      But I have been reading that Nakajima’s best position projects as second base. And, in explaining the rather odd bid, Cashman talked about the scarcity of “up the middle” players.

      Also, there’s the 2014 payroll threshold issue. The effective hit from paying Cano $20M could be more like $60M just for one year. That just might be enough to start the wheels turning.

  • crawdaddie

    Also, I don’t think your contract proposal is good enough for Boras to get Cano to sign off on. It’s going to have to be at least a six year deal beyond the two option years. If Cano reaches free agency, Boras is going for a 8-10 year contract.

  • Jonathan

    I completely agree. Normally I’d be saying lock up Granderson but I say let him do it again. If he can or somehow improves (I’m guessing that UZR bounces back) we should sign him too. Granderson and Cano have a couple of things that really play well for them with long term deals. When Cano can no longer play 2nd he obviously has the hands and arm strength for 3rd. That might coincide perfectly right about the time ARod moves off it full time. Granderson’s bat also plays in LF, and obviously we will mostly all agree on that since a strong portion of us want him in LF already. Unlike guys like Fielder and Reyes and many more, they’ll still be elite or close to it at the next position down the line. When Reyes can’t play middle infield anymore and his speed starts to die he’ll be an albatross. When Fielder is DH he won’t be worth $20MM+.

    I say lock up Cano now and make him the next lifetime Yankee. We can’t really be that far from him being the best 2nd baseman in franchise history already and I’d love to see him continue.

    • T.O. Chris

      I completely disagree on Granderson. I think if Grandy repeats, or has a similar year to the one he had in 2012, his 2013 option should be picked up and he should be traded. You would be getting rid of him at his peak value in a trade and you wouldn’t have to deal with decline in skill that is coming.

      Granderson will be 31 in March, which means he would be signing an extension next year going into his age 32 season. Which as big a Grandy fan as I am, I want no part of.

      Granderson is a small bodied power hitter who strikes out a ton, this isn’t the kind of skill set that does well into the mid to late 30’s. He relies almost entirely on bat speed to generate the power he has, if he loses even some of that bat speed the power drops off the table. Then you are left with a shell of the player you inked to an extension with the same glaring weaknesses.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    If they offer him like 7/100 or something like what Verlander or Felix got that’s probably best for both parties. Cano gets security long term, incase of an injury or a PED test (NOT THAT I AM SUGGESTING THAT HE USES JUST SOMETHING THAT WE ALL HAVE TO BE AWARE OF SINCE RYAN BRAUN), and the Yankees get their superstar locked up at a below market rate.

    • T.O. Chris

      I think Boras would have a hard time giving up that 6 million per year he’ll try and get on the open market.

  • nsalem

    Cano has averaged 160 games per year over the last 5 years while Reyes has averaged 123 games does that entitle Cano to 23 percent more money than Reyes?

  • Jamey

    Either pay him a lot now or a lot more when there’s legit bidding going on. I’ll liken it to a recent Ebay auction for a computer part I really needed that typically goes for a good amount of money. Had chance to “Buy Now” for about a little under average cost but chose to gamble & see if I could get it even cheaper if not much bidding action occurred. Ended up paying $30 more than the Buy It Now cost, so lesson learned, if its what you need, don’t let the price drive up if you don’t have to.

    • nsalem

      an excellent and relevant analogy.

    • Rainbow Connection

      Just buy that floppy drive at Best Buy.

    • OldYanksFan

      Did you know that part’s injury history of how it was likely to decline?

  • Paul from Boston

    ” If Cano has two more years similar to his last three, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll be looking at a Matt Kemp kind of contract on the open market, which is something the Yankees should try to avoid by talking about a contract now.”

    And if he doesn’t? With Cano’s lack of OBP and his regression thereof last year, it’s still far from certain what kind of player he’ll be into his 30s. Moreover, if his defense continues to decline along the three-year trend, he’s a DH/1B on a team filled with them.

    Sorry, but it would be premature to extend him now. In two years he could just as easily be a .850 OPS 1B/DH as a .950 OPS 2B. Better to get more data and then pay accordingly. The Yankees will always find a way to afford their own. Better if they have a true position to play.

    • OldYanksFan

      Cano has a career .843 OPS, and averaged a c-hair under .900 the last 2 years. Where is this 30+ year old .950 OPS 2nd baseman you speak of?

  • Jumpin’ Jack Swisher

    I don’t see any real need to extend him right this second. The Brian Cashman Yankees have had a policy which works well for them. The players know this is the situation. They treat their players better than any franchise in baseball and, in the end, will pony up the money when they need to. Cano will get the contract he will deserve in due time.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I certainly should like Cano to be signed to an extension. There are two obstacles that I can see. One is that the Yankees want to be under the 189M mark by 2014. The second would be Scott Boras who probably would want more years than the team would want to give. I would love for Robinson to be a lifetime Yankee. He’s the best we have had at second in years if not the best ever but the team has rarely done this type of extension. It is time to change.

    • Kevin Winters

      One is that the Yankees want to be under the 189M mark by 2014.


      you actually believe they want to do that?

      • T.O. Chris

        Yes, because under the new CBA luxury tax will be outrageous for “repeat offenders”.

        Even if the Yankees are at 189 or less for just 2014 and then go back over that in 2015 and beyond there is enough incentive they have to try.

  • Dino Velvet

    Does anyone think Reyes is worth $17.5 mill per year?

    I mean, on a per annum basis, Reyes will make approximately 20% more than Tulowitzki.

    • T.O. Chris

      At his best he is probably worth it. With his combination of speed, power and defense at SS he is a rare commodity. The thing will be if he can maintain himself as a 6 WAR player in his 30’s. If the decline is hard and fast after age 30, or he can’t stay healthy even before then probably not.

      • OldYanksFan

        A 4 WAR player, especially a SS, is worth that contract.

    • nsalem

      Reyes has not been healthy through his twenties what would leave anyone to belief that something will change in his 30’s (unless you want to blame Met trainers and doctors)? Though it may be painful for a year or two I believe the Mets are fortunate that he left. I don’t think its likely that Reyes track record of constant and longer than expected stints on the DL will change in the second half of his career.

      • T.O. Chris

        I think to some degree the “he’s never healthy” meme is overblown. Outside of 2009 he hasn’t played less than 129 games in a season since 2004. In fact over the last 6 years no including 2009 he averaged 148.6 games a year.

        Even if he just plays in 140 games a year over the next 4 years that’s still 560 games.

        • nsalem

          Actually he did not play 129 games this year and I don’t think questioning his health isoverblown. A more compelling number may be that he hasn’t played more than 133 games since 2008. There is no argument that he is a dynamic force and one of elite players in baseball, but I also think there is no argument that he is oft injured. There are no numbers that you can throw out that changes the fact that he has had many trips to the DL. Both the Marlins and Nats are desperate to acquire stars and overpay them to fill new stadiums. They have the money (as opposed to the Mets). They are willing to take the risk that could come with this type of acquisitions. I never would wish bad health on anyone and I could be wrong but i do not believe that this is a wise investment.

          • T.O. Chris

            Sorry, I meant 126… Damn numbers looking alike haha.

            I actually agree with you that I don’t like the investment and if I were the Mets I wouldn’t have signed him either. My point is just that I think a lot of people try and make it seem like he never gets on the field. Reyes can still be a 6 WAR player in 126-133 games, which he has only ever failed to play in once since becoming a full time guy.

            For the Marlins it’s a calculated risk, but I don’t think they are expecting him to play in 150+ games a year. I think they are expecting a 126+ per year and hoping the + is closer to 135 a year. If he manages to be a 6 WAR player over the first 3 or 4 seasons they probably consider it a good investment.

        • Alex Taffet

          With Reyes, it’s not necessarily the amount of games he has missed over the years, it’s the nature of his injuries. Constant tweaks of the hamstring is scary, especially for a small middle infielder whose game relies very heavily on speed, and whose defense has already shown significant decline before his age-28 season. And what is to suggest that these injuries will not just get worse as he hits 30?

          • T.O. Chris

            Again I never said that I would’ve signed him, I wouldn’t have. I just think people try and make it seem like he plays less than 100 games every year, which simply isn’t true.

            I think one of the reasons he went somewhere like Miami is that it’s better for his hamstrings and calves not to constantly play in cold weather. This is an investment for the Marlins that they obviously think will payoff more in the first 3 years than the last 3 of the deal.

      • Craig Maduro

        I agree with that. Same way the Cards are probably fortunate that they didn’t have to shell out $254 million over 10 years for Pujols. Mets should probably trade David Wright while they’re at it too.

  • Eric

    Extending Cano provides certainty that he will be in pinstripes for probably the remainder of his career, but I don’t think it would necessarily be a money-saving move.

    • T.O. Chris

      Serious question. Should we really care if Cano is a Yankee his entire career? Shouldn’t we be more concerned he is a Yankee for as close to the entirety of his productive years, while not being a Yankee during his major decline?

      Sometimes I get the feeling people care more about seeing someone stay with a team their whole careers than they do about maximizing the investment. As a fan I don’t care where he retires, I care he plays well while he’s a Yankee and we get out from underneath him before a big collapse happens.

      Nothing is worse than an aging, declining star, taking ABs away from younger more productive players.

      • AndrewYF

        “Should we really care if Cano is a Yankee his entire career?”

        Cano is my favorite player in baseball. I care.

        • Guns of the Navarone

          Will he still be your favorite player if he’s having a Posada-like season and hurting the team? Remember, you can’t hide him at DH either. That’s reserved for another declining player.

          I think if a player plays the majority of his career with one team, wins championships there, is a star while there etc, etc, it doesn’t matter if he goes to another team for a few years. Not all the beloved Yankees at Old Timer’s day were with the Yankees their whole career. You have to let the player walk in their decline IMO. Then they come back after their career is over and everybody’s happy.

          • T.O. Chris

            If Yogi Berra and Babe Ruth can finish their career with the Mets and Boston Braves respectively, anyone can finish their career with another team and still be a “life long Yankee”.

      • Guns of the Navarone

        This x 1,000. It’s a sad fact that the Yankees have enough bad long-term contracts for aging players as it is. You can’t let nostalgia drive a contract. If Posada goes and plays 2 or 3 more years part-time somewhere else, will he not always be thought of as a Yankee anyway?

        I agree with Mike completely that Cano needs to be locked up NOW during his prime years. That would allow the Yankees to re-evaluate him for perhaps another contract at age 34. It’s highly unlikely he’ll still be producing at that age like he has for the last two years, so if the Yankees wanted to retain him it would likely require a much shorter committment. Otherwise another team can pay for his decline. It’s a win-win and frankly a no-brainer. I hope he gets locked up after this season.

      • nsalem

        I don’t understand. You are advocating the Reyes contract a player who has had an injury plagued career and simultaneously questioning a Cano extension. It seems to me that you are suggesting that Cano who has been healthy throughout his career is a greater risk than Reyes. Is this true? I’m sorry if I am missing something but I don’t understand your rationale.

        • T.O. Chris

          What your missing is that I’m NOT advocating the Reyes contract… I’ve said twice in this thread I WOULDN’T have signed Reyes. I simply said I think people over blow the “Reyes barley plays” meme.

          Again, I wouldn’t have signed Reyes. I completely back the Mets letting him go, they should have. It’s probably a deal that will back fire for the Marlins at the end, but I understand why they did it. If he plays in 130-140 games a year for the first 3-4 years it will probably be worth it to the MARLINS, no one else, but the Marlins are trying to make a statement.

          No I’m not saying Cano is a bigger risk than Reyes. In fact both have skill sets that don’t play well past age 31 or 31.

          • nsalem

            Sorry just read all of your threads. Still disagree though because I would be much more worried about Reyes skill set (speed) deteriorating sooner than the much heathier Cano’s hitting ability. If you were talking about ages 38 and 39 I would agree but I wouldn’t worry about years 34 and 35 if you were talking about extending them now. s Both Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle ended their careers in pretty ugly fashion, but they had high OBP’s to the end. Getting on base is tantamount to the game but it is less meaningful when the man on base is a station to station entity. Mantle could barely walk much less run at the end of his career.

            • T.O. Chris

              What’s to disagree with? I agree that Reyes is much more likely to deteriorate sooner than Cano. Never said otherwise.

              Mickey Mantle finished his final season at age 36 with a 3.9 fWAR and a 3.6 bWAR, that’s excellent for some in bad a shape as Mickey was physically at his age. In fact he was still walking more than he struckout, and he hit 18 HRs without the luxury of the DH. Mickey was a super human juggernaut, nobody could’ve played as well he did in those final years with knees like he had.

              If Cano posts a 3.6-3.9 WAR at age 36 I would be ecstatic.

              Willie Mays finished his career with .303 OBP striking out way more than he walked. Not really comparable to Mickey in any way.

              There is really no comparable player to Cano who had much success after 33. his skill set is almost entirely dependent hitting anything that comes to the plate for a high average. When he falls it will be quick and ugly, much like Roberto Alomar.

  • Soam

    I feel like it would take more money and perhaps even an extra year to get Cano extended. Not arguing that he is or isn’t worth it, just saying 6 for 120 sounds a tad cheap

  • nsalem

    I don’t understand. You are advocating the Reyes contract a player who has had an injury plagued career and simultaneously questioning a Cano extension. It seems to me that you are suggesting that Cano who has been healthy throughout his career is a greater risk than Reyes. Is this true? I’m sorry if I am missing something but I don’t understand your rationale.

    • Guns of the Navarone

      Reyes has some injury concerns the crazy durable Cano doesn’t, but it’s very clear that Reyes’ new deal with the Marlins will be a benchmark for Cano’s next contract. That’s why they need to sign him right now.

      You’re missing the point. Mike is ADVOCATING extending Cano right now to avoid paying even more for him during free agency. It’s a smart move.

      • nsalem

        I agree and that exactly what I have been saying. Reyes is a much greater risk than Cano.

        • T.O. Chris

          Of course he is. He relies completely on his legs, has had leg problems, and speed is usually the first thing to slow down as you age.

          Cano however is still as huge risk entering his mid to late 30’s. Even giving him a 7 year deal right now means you probably regret the last 3 years of the deal.

          • nsalem

            A seven year contract would take Cano into year 35 so their is no late 30’s. I can name plenty of great hitters who have had great years up to age 35 and can’t think of to many who have become disasters at age 34 and 35. Besides players who have had abuse, weight or injury problems (which apparently Cano doesn’t have) I wouldn’t worry about Cano. What .300 hitters do you have in mind who have fallen off so poorly in years 32-34.

            • T.O. Chris

              It’s not about being a .300 hitter, it’s about being a .300 hitter with little to no ability to work walks. his entire skill set is wrapped up in his ability to hit his way into an acceptable OBP. That is a very unsustainable skill set late into your career.

              He also isn’t likely to get an extension in the next month, so at best he will get a 7 year extension next year. That would take him into his year 36 season.

              As far as an example look no further than fellow second baseman, and Cano comparison Roberto Alomar.

              Roberto Alomar’s decline:
              Age 33- 2001- .336/.415/.541, .412 wOBA, 20 HRs and 30 SBs in 157 G

              Age 34- 2002- .266/.331/.376, .316 wOBA, 11 HRs and 16 SBs in 149 G

              Age 35- 2003- .258/.333/.349, .307 wOBA, 5 HRs and 12 SBs in 140 G

              • T.O. Chris

                Ryne Sandberg’s decline:

                Age 32- 1992- .304/.371/.510, .393 wOBA, 26 HRs, 17 SBs in 158 G

                Age 33- 1993- .309/.359/.412, .348 wOBA, 9 HRs, 9 SBs in 117 G

                Age 34- 1994- .238/.312/.390, .307 wOBA, 5 HRs, 2 SBs in 57 G

                Sandberg retired after just 57 games in 1994 sat out all of 1995 and came back in 1996.

                Age 36- 1996- .244/.316/.444, .326 wOBA, 25 HRs, 12 SBs in 150 G

                Age 37- 1997- .264/.308/.403, .310 wOBA, 12 HRs, 7 SBs in 135 G

                Both men were excellent until age 33 and then fell off quickly after that.

                • nsalem

                  Another bad example Ryne himself attributed his decline to personal issues
                  He wrote a book about it. I’m not trying to be coy but both of the players you mentioned had well documented issues at that age which I’d rather not discuss in this forum. I believe both of their declines were far from age related and due more to thei personal issues. I am leaving this conversation at that. I see and respect your point of view.

                  • T.O. Chris

                    So then neither one of us are able to come up with an example that fits, since none of the players you listed come close to Robbie’s high average, lack of walks skill set.

                    We can go back and forth dismissing each other all night, it really won’t go anywhere. Unless Cano drastically remakes his entire game, learns to take walks at a clip he’s never shown the ability to do, and maintains it for the rest of his career I believe (as do many others) he will have a hard collapse around age 33.

                    I would personally hate for Cano to be a Yankee at 34-37. Which is likely what is going to end up happening, since the Yankees seem to have no interest in extending him until he hits free agency at 30-31.

              • nsalem

                I don’t think Roberto is a real good example due to some serious health issues. There’s Jeter, Rose, Carew and many HOF’s going back to Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Nap Lajoie, Stan Musial, Ted Williams. All stayed at a high level into their late 30’s and some to their early 40’s.

                • T.O. Chris

                  You can’t just snag players out of nowhere and say this one played until ths age so Cano can. They have to be somewhat comparable to the player in question, which none of these guys are close to Cano’s skill set.

                  Let’s keep the examples to people who played after 1950 please. The game guys like Eddie Collins and Cobb played in, guys born before 1900, was nothing like today’s game.

                  Carew played the game very little like Cano. One is a leadoff man who knew how to draw walks, the other is a middle of the order bat who can’t walk. Carew only ever had 2 seasons in his entire career with a BB% under 6.0%, Cano has only had 1 year above that mark thus far in his.

                  Carew also had a BB% over 10.0% 9 different years in his career, something Cano has never done.

                  Walking is something that will always extend careers, but this is not Cano’s skill set. His skill set is low OBP and high BA with power generated from his bat speed.

                  Rose is a bad comparison as well since he only walked less than 6.0% once in his career. He also had had a BB% above 10.0% 9 times, and above 9.0% 17 times. Cano has yet to do either, and has only had a BB% above 8.0% once in his career. It’s just not his skill set.

                  I suppose Jeter is the most comparable, but when you realize that, you realize none of them are comparable to Cano’s skill set. Because Cano and Jeter are really not that similar. His career BB% is also higher than Cano’s single season high.

                  • nsalem

                    you defined the skill set as .300 hitters yourself and then “snagged” two players in their early 30’s who both had some unfortunate personal and health issues which were the reasons why they left baseball and had nothing to with their skills. Roberto Clemente had a .359 OBP Slugging .475 and OPS of .834 to Cano’s .347/.496/.843Clemente walked about 6% Cano at 5% Clemente’s last 3 years hiti n the .340’s at age 35 and .350’s at age 36 I think that’s close enough but you probably can find something wrong with the comparison. You know your stuff so I am assuming that you know what happened to both Sandberg and Alomar which makes your argument that much weaker.

  • Countryclub

    Sorry for disappearing; a bunch of you were curious about my post above regarding the yanks letting Cano walk. Understand that I’m not saying they should let him go, but I get the feeling based on how they’ve been running the team over the past couple of years that they want nothing to do with giving a 30+ middle infielder a 6 or 7 yr deal. As others have stated, the track record shows a steep, quick decline in most cases. Anyway, we’ll have 2 yrs before we have to worry about it.

  • http://none Favrest

    Cano is going to hit 50 home runs in 2011.

    • Dave203

      He better get down to Winter ball ASAP since he’s got to hit another 22 before the end of the year then…

  • awy

    but no negotiating while under contract!

  • Ted Nelson

    I don’t know about the premise that Reyes’ contract has anything to do with Cano. It’s very possible he takes the security, but it’s an assumption that Boras and Cano are going to let the Yankees sign him from 30 to 34 rather than waiting until he hits free agency to get big $ till 36+… or just push to get signed till 36 now.

  • RetroRob

    There may be luxury tax advantages to the Yankees tearing up Cano’s current contract (meaning throwing away the team’s right to the extensions) and negotiating a brand new contract right now that has nothing to do with the current extensions.

    Since luxury tax is calculated based on the annual average of the total contract (I am correct on that, yes?), if the Yankees can basically maintain the $14-million average over the next two years with the new contract, before ratchting up to $20 million over the last four years, then the annual average starting in 2014 will be a few million lower then it would be under a brand-new contract starting in 2014, because the lower salary in 2012 and 2013 will bring down the average annual salary. Cano gets paid the same amount of money, while the Yankees get to lower the luxury tax payroll beginning in 2014 (although it will go up the next two years, but that’s a tradeoff the Yankees might be happy to make if it helps them in 2014).

    Boras might be open to this scenario because he now gets his commission on Cano’s salary the next two years, where right now he’s getting nothing. Cano gets a six-year contract; the Yankees get to lower their luxury tax payroll in 2014; and Boras gets his commission starting now.

  • jyjjy

    The deal suggested is preposterous. If Cano was a free agent right now the he MIGHT get a contract in the league of 6/120 but as you point out he is already signed for the next two years at 29 mill. A 6 year 120 mill contract is essentially a 4 year extension at nearly 23 million per year. I can’t think of any reason such a thing makes sense. The only situation in which it might look ok in retrospect is if Cano puts up two back to back MVP seasons and that’s certainly not something to be assumed.

    • Ted Nelson

      The premise is that you overpay a little for his early-30s so that you don’t have to still be paying him top dollar into his mid-30s.