Joey Votto, Matt Cain, and the Yankees

Yankees open season with lowest payroll since 2007
The Mason Williams Watch
(John Sommers II/Getty Images)

Two or three years ago it appeared that baseball salaries were taking a slight step backward, particularly when it came to older players on the free agent market. That last part is still very much true, but baseball salaries are once again booming. We’ve seen three of baseball’s five $200M+ contracts handed out over the last four months and eight $100M+ deals handed out since late-October. The Yankees were involved in only one of those transactions: CC Sabathia‘s new five-year, $122.5M extension.

It appears as though the sale of the Dodgers has motivated a pair of clubs to lock up their own young players to mammoth extensions to avoid having them flee to Chavez Ravine in the near future. These two contracts impact the game in a number of ways, and the Yankees are not immune to the change.

Joey Votto — ten years, $225M
To understand the magnitude of this contract, you need to first realize that Votto was not a free agent. Not only was he not a free agent, but he was two full years away from becoming a free agent. Votto eclipsed the Prince Fielder contract and signed the fourth-most lucrative contract in baseball history without ever going out onto the open market and suckering several teams into a bidding war. Nice work by his agent.

The question now is was the Votto deal an outlier, or a sign of things to come? The Yankees have their own homegrown star two years away from free agency in Robinson Cano, and they better hope this Votto deal is an outlier. I love Robbie, but I don’t love him as much as the Reds apparently love their first baseman. I’d like to think that the Jose Reyes contract — six years and $106M — set the market for Cano, but the prices have since escalated and figure to continue doing so over the next two years.

Last summer I was thinking a six-year, $120M extension for Cano — covering 2012-2017 — but that’s obviously not going to happen. He’ll be 31 when he hits free agency after next season, which isn’t far off from the age when middle infielders tend to collapse. If Scott Boras is looking for a Votto-sized deal for Cano after 2013, there will absolutely be a strong argument that the best thing the Yankees could do is let him walk. Thankfully we’re still two full seasons away from this being a real concern.

(Ezra Shaw/Getty)

Matt Cain — five years, $112.5M
The Cain deal has more of an indirect impact on the Yankees. They don’t have any pitchers due to become free agents in the next year or two that are in Cain’s class, even if Phil Hughes blows up and turns into the guy we all thought he could be back in the day. The track record just wouldn’t be there to justify the contract.

Instead, the impact of Cain’s deal will be felt if the Yankees plan on diving into the free agent market sometime in the next year or too. Cole Hamels was probably destined to get Johan Santana money from the start, but this probably cements it. Zack Greinke’s price went up as well, though we know the Yankees have already deemed him unfit for New York. Matt Garza, Tim Lincecum, and Josh Johnson could benefit from Cain’s deal even though they won’t hit the open market until after next season.

The price of pitching just went up, which is why Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova will be very important if the Yankees seriously intend to get under the $189M luxury tax threshold in 2014. Even the Triple-A guys — David Phelps, Adam Warren, and Manny Banuelos specifically — will be important when it comes to keeping costs down at the back of the rotation or even in the bullpen. Viable alternatives just won’t come affordably.

* * *

The Yankees have been setting the market for decades now, but other clubs are starting to catch up a bit. Blame the new stadiums, the new television contracts, and the revenue sharing program. The Votto and Cain contracts undeniably impact the market for top-tier talent going forward, a demographic the Yankees tend to target. I’m sure they’re going to re-sign Cano to something outrageous in two years, at least that’s how I feel right now, and we’ll have Votto, Fielder, and a several others to thank for that.

Yankees open season with lowest payroll since 2007
The Mason Williams Watch
  • statboy yankopherson

    7 year 172 million for cano


    • Typical MIT Nerd

      Dear God, no. That would be almost a $100 Million infield in 2014 with not one of them topping an .850 OPS.

      If they’re serious about the budget, it’s time to be serious about player worth.

  • Typical MIT Nerd

    Am I the only one who thinks Cano isn’t worth this type of deal? He’s very good but not a perennial MVP. The Kinsler extension should give a nice comparison. Relative to him, Cano is already overpaid with an equal bat but lesser glove. Yes, Cano is one year younger and doesn’t have the same home/road splits, but he also doesn’t seem long for the position. Rod Carew, to whom Cano is often compared, was done at 2B when he turned 30.

    I give Cano no more than five years at $80M. If that’s not enough let him walk to the Dodgers.

    • Mike Axisa

      Don’t overlook Cano’s durability. He’s played 159+ games in each of the last five years. Last season was the first time Kinsler made it through a full season healthy, he’d been on the DL at least once every other year of his career.

      • Typical MIT Nerd

        True, but then he’s been paid half of what Cano makes. And he’s still good for 5 WAR a year playing only 130 games because of his defense.

        I don’t want to make this Kinsler vs. Cano. Kinsler has his flaws too. I’m just pointing out that Cano is already overpaid. No need to compound that problem as he enters his 30s and is less capable of playing an adequate 2B.

        • Mike Axisa

          I don’t think Cano is overpaid at all. He’s a bargain at his current salary and production.

          And for what it’s worth, UZR is the only advanced defensive metric that thinks he’s a below average defender. The rest have him as +5 runs a year or so.

          • Typical MIT Nerd

            $14M this year and $15M next year isn’t a bargain – it’s market rate at 2B. That implies they should be paying him >$20M/year but that ignores the fact they bought out his arb years early. Sure, if he’s worth 5 WAR every year, that’s a decent deal. But he’s peaking now. In three years (i.e., his next contract) he’s not going to have that same value. He’s much more likely to be worth 3 WAR than 5 WAR. Why pay for his decline?

            Total Zone has him going from 0.8 to 0.3 to -0.2 over the last three years. He’s been a fine defender, especially with his bat, but he’s trending wrong and his size isn’t long for the position as he loses a step or two. Rod Carew is a nice comparison.

            Heck, take a look at Utley. He had a much better peak with a much better glove and he’s declining very quickly at 32. Cano is already at his salary level.

          • JoeyA

            I think the most important player to look at moving forward for any Cano comparable is Brandon Phillips…his deal will be a large part of the Cano negotiations.

            Phillips, in my opnion, is not as good a player but Phillips deal may be a starting point. just a thought

            • Typical MIT Nerd

              Brandon Phillips isn’t very good.

              • Slugger27

                a comment like this ruins your credibility

                • Typical MIT Nerd

                  He’s had exactly one season at 4 bWAR. Everything else is 1 or 2. That’s an average 2B. His 96 OPS+ is below average. He’s a negative with the glove. He did nothing until he was already at peak age.

                  My credibility is just fine, thanks.

              • JoeyA

                Utley (only with good knees)

                Those, to me, seem to be top 2B’s in league

                honorable mentions:
                Aaron Hill
                Hoowie Kendrick

                • Sayid J.

                  Zobrist needs to be in the top 5.

              • jsbrendog

                you have no idea what you’re talkin about.

                he has been worth 22.1 WAR since 2007.

                Cano has been at 21.5 WAR since 2007.

                this is an insanely awesome comparison. well played JoeyA.

                Cano seems ot be a much better offensive player overall, well rounded, more power, better avg, but phillips looks to be highly rated with the glove. value wise though, it seems they’re both close. those above are fwar. let’s see bwar

                Phillips since 07 – 11.7
                Cano since 07 – 22.6

                wow, big discrepancy. weird.

                either way i agree that phillips contract would be a good comparable for cano. he will be 31 in june, right around the same age…

                • Typical MIT Nerd

                  The guy with the 96 career OPS+ is an insanely awesome comp for a guy who’s 20% better?

                  • jsbrendog

                    brandon phillips is good at baseball and similar to cano in overall value, plays the same position, is becoming a free agent at the same age, and also has a sustained track record of success at the major league level. yes it is a good comp

                    • Typical MIT Nerd

                      Sure, just ignore every statistic and pretend your words alone mean something. The guy has a career .755 OPS, topping .800 just twice in his career, and barely at that. But sure he’s a heck of of a comp for a guy with a career OPS almost 100 points higher. He’s received exactly one vote in an MVP race versus two top six finishes for Cano. Phillips is well below average with the glove. Cano is right about average.

                      Considering the game today, Phillips is about the worst possible comp. And with Kinsler also talking an extension, it’s like you want to be willfully ignorant of objective facts just to litter this thread with your own myopia.

                    • YanksFanInBeantown

                      Uhhh…Phillips is a top 5 defensive 2B by UZR.
                      And the reason he has such a low career OPS+ is because he batted .208/.242/.311 as a 22 year old in the MLB

                  • JoeyA

                    I never said Phillips will command same as Cano. In fact, I even said Cano, imo, is better. All i was trying to point out is that people here were citing Kinsler extension as a parameter for Cano negotiations and I believe Phillips next contract will be more of a comparable for the Cano deal.

                    That being said, Phillips’ deal will probably be the starting point for Cano’s deal.

    • Say What?

      “Relative to him, Cano is already overpaid with an equal bat but lesser glove.”

      You actually think that is a valid argument? Cano has been a steal the last 3 seasons and looking forward to the next 2 seasons, should be a bargain. He is considered by many, previous to Fielder and Pujols joining the party, as the best player in the AL.

      “He’s very good but not a perennial MVP.”

      Pretty sure he HAS been a perennial MVP candidate for the last 3 seasons.

      At 31, I see Cano being offered, by the Yankee’s, a 5 or 6 year deal in the range of $125mm-$140mm, at best and yes, the Dodgers seem like a legit competitor in the bidding process now.

      • Typical MIT Nerd

        Cano is fine at what they’re paying him and at his current age and skillset. On the wrong side of 30 he shouldn’t be playing 2B. As with many 2Bs, he could be finished by the time he’s 33 or 34. Look what happened to Soriano and the massive deal he got. Granted Cano has the better glove, but Sori was a better hitter and base stealer in his prime.

        Just because Cano is worth 4-5 WAR now, doesn’t mean he will be in three or four years. He’s peaking now. Normal age curves suggests he’ll be a 2-3 WAR player in his early to mid-thirties. That’s worth $10M a year at best. If they are serious about a budget, Cano isn’t the guy for a long-term deal. Granderson is a better bet, especially if his success against LHP is real.

        • Say What?

          Disagree with the comparison btw Cano and Granderson and I feel the exact opposite will happen. I don’t think Granderson will receive offers of more than 3-4 years in the range of $42mm-$60mm. As for the comparison btw Soriano and Cano, they are very different people. Let’s keep in mind that Cano’s father is a huge influence on him, Cano, unlike Soriano will not lose direction and go to shit at age 33. It’s very VERY unlikely that happens. We fans always forget that these players are actual people too and some have different motivations and work ethic. Obviously spirt is different than the body and sure, Cano could wear down, but you’re making it sound like he’s going to playing 95-125 games at 2nd come 2015.

          • Typical MIT Nerd

            His father and work ethic have nothing to do with it. 2Bs don’t age well. Soriano, Utley, you lose a step or two at 2B and now you’re a tweener. Without the defense to play the middle infield and without the stick to play a corner. I have little doubt that Cano could play a fine 3B at 31-33. I just don’t want him to pay him $20M+ to do so as they’re paying Teixeira $22M to hit less at 1B and A-Rod $30M to hit even less at DH.

            • Slugger27

              you dont think canos bat would play at a corner? hes a better hitter than the 2 corners the yankees currently have

              • Typical MIT Nerd

                He wouldn’t be moving to a corner with his current bat. Three years from now, when his new contract would start, given normal aging curves for 2Bs, he’s struggling to top .825 OPS. Five years hence he’s struggling to maintain an .800 OPS. That’s fine if his glove holds out (doubtful given his size), but untenable at a corner.

        • thenamestsam

          “That’s worth $10M a year at best”

          This is very wrong. 2-3 WAR (call it 2.5) in 3 years would be worth about $18M using a standard estimate of 5% inflation in salaries per year and current value of $5M per WAR. Given what we’re seeing in terms of how flush with cash the lower echelon teams are I’d guess that 5% number might be a little low.

          • Typical MIT Nerd

            But it would be a multiyear deal and he’d be losing .5 WAR a year. You can’t just assume yearly value. There’s the cost to sign him. That contract would turn upside down in a hurry, especially since he’d be 31 when it starts.

    • gc

      I think it depends on what Cano does these next two years. If he can remain anything close to what he is now in terms of production, that changes things, wouldn’t you think? Yes, many great hitting second basemen decline after a certain age. Maybe Cano will as well. Or maybe he’ll be more like Jeff Kent and put up some very productive seasons after that age. My point is, we can speculate now all we want. The focus will narrow after we see how he plays this season, and even more after the next. It may be possible, however unlikely, that he is actually a BETTER player in two years than he is now, with perhaps an MVP season (or two) under his belt by then. I wouldn’t bet on it, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it happened either. It will be interesting to watch.

    • CJ

      Kinsler is one. When is pedroia due? If cano wins an MVP in next two years which is very possible, he is more votto than reyes.

    • handtius

      i’ve read through this whole comment feed and, my god, are you condescending. just because you’re an mit nerd doesn’t mean you need to be a twat to everyone else you deem inferior. you can have your opinion and others can have theirs. you used your numbers in two arguments that contradict your own thoughts. you’re rebuttal of the comparison of phillips and cano (the latters mvp position). then, when “say what?” brought it up you down played. Having a discussion is fine, but don’t be rude to others when their opinion differs.

      • JMK


        • handtius


  • Kvothe

    It’d help if we were more willing to extend young players before team control ends and buy out a few years of FA. I know we did that with Cano… and look how well that worked out!

    • Steve (different one)

      The lesson from Votto (and Cain, Tulo) might be that you are still paying close to retail FA prices, even if you extend early. You have to get them pre-arb, and the yanks already used that card on Cano….

      • Kvothe

        I know, and I’m pointing to Cano as an example of success. An early extension on a player like Gardner would have been nice, but I guess the Yanks weren’t entirely sold on him.

        It can also backfire, like if we had extended Wang, Joba, or Hughes, but if they had taken Matt Moore type contracts, there’s not much of a hit there.

  • Johnny O

    Votto’s a special talent but I can’t imagine how anyone thinks that’s a good deal. 10 freakin years?!

  •!/czm26 Craig

    I’d like to think Cain’s contract also prices out the Phillies for Hamels; the Dodgers are the perfect fit: Kershaw-Hamels-Billingsley is right up there with Halladay-Lee-Hamels

    • Steve (different one)

      Yes, I will be shocked if Hamels is playing anywhere other than Philly or LA next year

    • Slugger27

      i think the phillies can definitely afford to keep hamels

      • gc

        I do too, but I think he jumps ship to the Dodgers.

  • JoeyA

    We have to lock Cano up at almost any cost that isnt outlandish…& thats mainly due to the Yankees having ZERO positional depth in the organization, especially in middle infield.

    In 2 years, Alex will be a shell and Jeter will be gone, and we’ll probably have lower offensive production from the left side of the infield.

    Tex & Grandy r the only 2 guys I can see still being an impactful bat on our team in 2 years.

    With our rotation hopefully more on the cheap side w/ CC/Pineda/Nova/Hughes/Banuelos, we can afford to spend a bit more on offense.

    Unless a power hitting 3B or LF is available, Cano will be our best option (I’m assuming a offensive SS wont become available as teams typically lock up anybody who can swing a bat and play SS).

    Will be interesting

  • Say What?

    I think Cano resigns with the Yankees regardless and I don’t think the cost will be as much as we think. The Dodgers are a real threat and I could absolutely see them over paying for him and offering a $200mm contract, whereas, the Yank’s won’t at that time.

    I think it’s a bit premature to say ” Alex will be a shell in 2 years.” I actually feel very different about this. I think Arod may not be the full time 3rd baseman after 2014, but I do believe his bat will be very good many years.

    We also all forget that there are other players out there, such as, Justin Upton, who many feel could be a 2012 MVP candidate. All it takes is one or two really shitty seasons for the D-Backs (seems unlikely) and the Yanks make a trade. Let’s not forget that Cashman’s strength as a GM have been with trades.

    I also don’t think Granderson receives as much as we all think. I’d say he’s in the neighborhood of a 3 or 4 year deal btw $42mm-$60mm.

    Lot’s could happen in the next two years and I wouldn’t rule out seeing a Gardner (CF) Upton (RF) Almonte/Williams (LF) type of scenario.



      I don’t think so on yor Granderson estimate. In fact I think you are WILDLY off there.

      Look at the Werth contract. Werth was playing a less premium position with less power, less OBP, less SB ability. And while his deal was an overpay it wasn’t THAT much of an overpay.

      Granderson, if he has a reasonable facsimile of last season (lets say he still hits lefties, and hits 30-35 homeruns, is a 5 to 7 win player) in that situation he is esily getting offered 5 years at 100 million. Easily. And there is always ALWAYS one stupid team out there.

      I could see 6 years 124 million with a ridiculous type of team option with 8 million dollar buyout type thing. Most of these elite players getting contracts around 30 years old are getting around 18-20 million on contracts that take them to 36 years old.

      It seems that the deal taking the player to 36 is THE KEY and that guys will take 18 rather than 20 if the team goes to the mid to late 30s.

      I think you are crazy undervaluing a cf’er with 30-35 hr power, a guy everyone loves who can steal bases and take a walk. He’s getting paid dude.

  • mike_h

    I thought other teams would learn from the ARod contract, clearly they didnt.

    This also confirms Lincecum will probably be the first $200 million dollar pitcher

    • Mike HC

      You never know with free agency, but if Hamels puts together another year like the past couple, I don’t see how he is not going to be one of the most coveted free agent pitchers of all time.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    I thank Cano for his time here in two years and begin planning for that before now. I would never give a 2nd baseman $200 million or anything close to that and I think he may be able to get in that ballpark.

    I would be more interested in keeping Grandy because A) I actually like the guy better (shocking and totally fan driven, but Granderson was one of my favorite players in MLB even before he became a Yankee), B) A quality CF that hits for power and has speed does not grown on trees. C) Will be had for much less money than Cano. D) He should hold his value for a few years at CF or even one of the other OF positions. E) I view him as our next captin after Jeter goes.

    I also know that we will not be replacing Cano with anybody that will give us close to the production that he does. It just will not happen. But signing him to some long horrible $ deal will not give us that player at 2nd either. I would not like to pay him for past performace.

    The Votto deal is horrible. We already have our own horrible contracts on the book here, I would like our team to not repeat that process even if it means we are not the odds on fave to win the WS for a few years in a row.

    • gc

      Don’t count on a Yankee captain EVER being a player who is not a home-grown Yankee.

      • craig

        Graig Nettles?

        • gc

          You know what I mean. There are Yankee captains and there are YANKEE CAPTAINS. Most likely, there will be no captain in the years immediately following Jeter’s retirement, just as there was no captain for years after Mattingly. And whomever is named captain after Jeter will most probably be a home grown player.

          • gc

            …and someone who will have been a Yankee for a very long time.

      • JohnnyC

        Willie Randolph.

        • gc

          I’ll just state right now that I know I fucked up when I posted what I did. There have been great Yankee captains who were not home grown. I’ll just stop now and let you all rip my words to shreds and point out what a fool I’ve made of myself. Believe me, I feel like an idiot.

          I know what I wanted to say. I just said it all wrong. Sorry. :)

          • craig

            No worries…it seems like it would be that way, even if it isn’t. They have only had a handful and they have all been very classy players

            • Billion$Bullpen

              I agree they most likely would not name another captin right after Jeter which would most likely count Granderson out. I was simply saying he would be a good person to be that guy. I think Granderson will be go to media guy and “leader” if the team when Jeter goes if Granderson stays. I am a big Jeter supporter but Granderson lacks the ego that Jeter has and that could be a good thing.

  • Mike HC

    I don’t think you can compare Votto to Cano. Votto’s deal is more comparable with Pujols in my opinion. Votto has a career OBP of .405. Cano is at .347. Votto OPS = .955, Cano OPS = .843. Cano has a career slg. of under .500.

    I love Cano, and he plays an average 2nd base rather than 1st, but these players are not comparable.

    • Slugger27

      well said, agreed.

      • Mike HC

        I see Cano more in the Reyes range. And of course, we are two years away from this, so it is basically inevitable that things will change.

        • Needed Pitching

          I’d think the durability factor would give Cano a sizable edge on Reyes. I’m thinking about 7/154M for Cano.

          • Mike HC

            I don’t think there is any way that Cano ends up with that. But time will tell, crazier things have happened I guess.

  • craig

    In my opinion, it is very early to discuss an extension for Cano. There are a lot of factors involved that will play themselves out with regard to personnel and the $189 budget. Off the cuff:

    Does David Adams take a step forward and stay healthy in AA showing that the Yankees actually have someone who could play 2B?

    Does Bichette continue to develop and look like he can/will stay at 3B? If he does, you don’t have a spot for Cano to move to.

    How do Swisher and Granderson do? Who gets extended? Is Upton a cheaper alternative to Swisher? Can any of the guys in the minors get to the big league club by 2014 or 2015 and if so, are they in CF or at the corners.

    If not Martin, then who is the catcher in 2014? Is Sanchez ready and/or able?

    Finally, to me, the pitching staff will not be addressed through FA unless there are huge problems. After CC, you have Pineda, Nova and Hughes and the next tier of guys in Manny, Phelps, Warren and Betances and then you get to Campos, De Paula, Stoneburner, Mitchell and others. There *should* be enough depth and quality to fill out spots 2-5 and the bullpen from the deep reserve of pitchers in the system.

    Just my $.02.

    • gc

      Agreed on all counts.

  • Mike Myers

    Could David Adams be 150Mil in savings?

    • craig

      He could be. Although, He is more likely made of glass and won’t make it to the show.

      But, he’s a chance, and sometimes they work out.

      • craig

        Angleo Gumbs and/or Cito Culver could also continue their development and that would be a HUGE plus.

  • Rich in NJ

    In many instances, the Yankees haven’t set the market. For example, George paid Jeter more because he reportedly wanted to wait to sign off on a 7 year $118m (approximately) until Juan Gone signed a larger, market setting contract with Detroit, but when he didn’t, the next market setting contract became A-Rod’s with Texas, and that became the reference point with Jeter.

    There other other such instances.

    So really, the Yankees have largely let other teams set the market, and then they cluster sign players in accordance with the benchmarks other teams have set.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      In recent years yes you are dead on. In the early days of free agency however the Yankees set the market.

    • Needed Pitching

      seems like the CC contract set the market for SP though. Also Arod’s new contract.

  • Billion$Bullpen

    Off topic but anybody have any insight on if MLB.TV is worth it? Also the value of MLB.TV vs MLB.TV premium?

    Thanks in advance and sorry to speak off topic.

  • Mike c

    Yes the Yankees are going to overpay cano. Get over it already

    • Billion$Bullpen

      Cano may play for the Dodgers or Red Sox. “Get over it already”

      • RetroRob

        It won’t be the Red Sox. Not at the dollar levels it will take for him to leave the Yankees.

        I can see the Dodgers. Leyland also has a man-crush on Robbie, and the Tigers owner will open up his wallet, so I can see Detroit, too.

        What does the free-agent position market look like in Cano’s walk year? The Yankees may very well decide to try and compensate for Cano’s loss with other free agents. Cano is great, but no way do I want the Yankees paying him $22+ million per for eight years during his decline. And while I have nothing to base this on, I don’t expect him to age particuarly well because of his poor strike-zone discipline.

  • jjyank

    Maybe I’m biased because Cano is my favorite player, but I am firmly in the “Yankees need to find a way to retain him” camp. I realize that there will come a point that he will not be worth what contract he may get if the biddings gets too crazy, but the fact is Cano has been in the MVP conversation pretty regularly over the last few years and he plays a premium position.

    And I know the second basemen do not have good histories with father time. In a few years A-Rod may be our David Ortiz (aging but still productive DH) and Cano could play third. He has the arm for it and has played it in the minors (I believe this is the case, but I’m writing a paper for a class right now and don’t feel like doing more research than I have to). If Cano loses a step or two defensively in his mid-thirties, a switch to third with A-Rod DHing could solve that problem.

    I just think that pining our hopes on David Adams is a bit premature right now. Cano is a crucial part of our offense and I don’t see how we would replace that bat.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Yes, my first thought when seeing the Votto contract was Robbie. Budget and all, though, I don’t see the Yankees letting Robbie walk, not when he’ll be core of the offense more than ever. That means they either fail the test of getting under $189 million or really cross their fingers and hope with cost-controlled player development in several other positions. In 2014, barring unforeseen development, who, other than Robbie, Teixiera, and Granderson (a question mark himself) are going to carry this offense when everyone else is two years older as well? He stays.

    • jjyank

      My thoughts as well. They Yankees will either need huge strides from position player prospects, or sign a (likely expensive) free agent. In the latter case, they may as well keep Cano. And in the former case, it is premature to bank on. If the Yankees had a Montero-like prospect who played 2B or OF, maybe. But they don’t, and I don’t see who replaces Cano as a middle of the order hitter.

      • craig

        Maybe re-up Swish at $13 million, Grandy at $15 million and sign Upton for $10 million (totally spur of the moment numbers here) + Gardner in CF gives you your outfield + DH and you go cheap at 2B.

        The other option is Cano at $21 million and Grandy + Gardner and then you are short a corner outfielder and a DH.

        The cheapest contracts will be:

        Gardner then Swisher then Grandy then Cano…can’t have them all. Upton would probably be between Gardner and Swisher.

  • Guest

    I love Robbie, love him. But unless he underperforms over the next couple of years, given how the market is moving, I don’t see him re-signing.

    The austerity budget thing is clearly real. As a heart attack. It will be very difficult to make it under 189 if they give Robbie a deal commenserate with the way the market is moving.

    Robbie switched to Boras. That was not an accident. He’s going to get every dollar possible (as is his right).

    Due to a combination of revenue sharing dollars, changes in management, etc., there are now a ton of teams from enticing markets that will be players on the free agent market (Miami, Dodgers, Angels, Marlins, Cubs, even the Nationals). It’s not like Robbie will have to choose between taking slightly less money from the Yanks or playing in a weak market for slightly more money.

    Given that Robbie will likely have a ton of suitors, the market is exploding, the austerity budget, and Cash’s reticence to give long deals to players on the other side of thirty (remember Cash wanted to let A-Rod walk and played real hard ball with Jeter); I think we should focus on enjoying the next couple of years with Robbie and preparing for the (nearly) inevitable.

    Really, both parties will likely be better off in the end.

  • TheOneWhoKnocks

    I don’t think Matt Cain did his fellow pitchers a favor with that deal, he certainly didn’t raise the bar. I think he sold himself a bit short

    However, I do think Hamels will top Santana’s contract this offseason, I don’t think the Yankees will be in that conversation.

    I think the Yanks should probably let Cano walk and spend their money elsewhere. Middle infielders just don’t age well in their mid thirties and considering he already doesn’t know how to take a walk hes not a player that will maintain his value when he starts losing power and bat speed.


    Yeah Im inclined to think Graderson may age better as he does walk.

    But letting Cano walk is a tough pill to swallow. I think it’s pretty clear that you must have at least one elite bat on a team to compete.

    The yankees don’t seem to have that bat anywhere near the major leagues. To me one of Granderson or Cano has to be resigned.

  • Zack

    We can also thank George for the free agent prices. Let’s face it, he was overpaying and signing players to crazy contracts long before all the other teams did.