Projecting Robinson Cano


Robinson Cano‘s inevitable contract extension figures to be the most significant big picture topic in Yankeeland over the next 12 months, and we’re going to see this thing dissected from all angles between now and then. Over at Pinstriped Bible today, Bill Parker took a look at some similar players (truly elite second baseman through their age 29 season) throughout recent history and examined the second halves of their careers to get an idea of what the future may have in store for Robbie. Most of the players referenced remained elite through age 32 before falling off (sometimes drastically) and more often than not, changing positions. It’s a short-ish but very interesting read, so make sure you check it out.

Categories : Asides
  • Eddard

    Robbie Cano needs to be re-signed. He is the heir apparent to Derek Jeter as Yankee Captain. You don’t let your best player walk, ever. Look what happened to the Cardinals or the Brewers. Look what’s going to happen to Texas if they let Hamilton walk. Who are they going to replace Cano with if they do let him go? Nunez is already taking over for Jeter.

    • vin

      “Look what happened to the Cardinals”

      They’re in the same position as the Yankees right now, just without the homefield advantage.

      “Look what’s going to happen to Texas if they let Hamilton walk.”

      “The prognosticator of prognosticators.”

      • Mandy Stankiewicz

        Eddard, is this sarcasm? As in, look what happened when Pujols walked: We signed one of the best post season hitters in the history of baseball at a fraction of the price (in Beltran) and we’re playing october baseball. And, IMO the Yankees didn’t always have a captain. I would suspect if Jeter retired today, no one on the team would wear the c.

        • Luisergi


          Also Jeter was named capitan in 2003 i think, and Donnie retired as capitan in 1995. So, between those years no one was wearing the C.

          • Laz

            There are alot of teams that don’t have captains, and alot of times they go long stretches. Sure there is often a leader, it just usually becomes a player that it is apparent is a big deal, and will spend their career on one team. Who wants to lose their captain to free agency.

            Only the Yankees and White sox currently have captains. It is an honorary title that the team gives out, but in reality is not all that important.

        • YanksFanInBeantown

          No one on the Yankees does wear a “C”. Jeter isn’t Jason Varitek, he doesn’t have to remind everyone that he is captain by stitching something on to his uniform.

          • Peter North

            Actually the “C” on Varitek’s uniform stood for something else, IMO.

          • Mandy Stankiewicz

            dude, metaphor.

            • YanksFanInBeantown

              I wouldn’t be a Yankees fan if I passed up an opportunity to talk shit about Jason Varitek. especially considering how much verbal fellatio he gets up here.

              • Mandy Stankiewicz

                here! here!

    • Leo

      Yeah, the Cardinals are a good team and they are in the playoffs.

      • vin

        Who also have financial flexibility moving forward. Combine that with their quality front-office, and they should be a relevant for years to come.

        The Cardinals are smart in that they realized there is not point in breaking the bank to go from 90-95 wins (where the price of wins becomes disproportionally more costly). They just hang around, hope enough guys stay healthy and sneak into the playoffs. From there, anything’s possible.

        The Yankees are willing to spend that extra 50+ million to get those few extra wins every year because they have the resources to do so.

        If I had to bet, I’d say Swisher and Cano get re-signed. Granderson leaves via FA, and the Yanks move Gardner to CF, and swing a trade for an OFer.

        • Chris

          I agree. I think Granderson’s K’s and low average has him on the way out. I wonder if you could swing a trade for him and get some parts. I mean, in the last 2 years no one has more HR’s. Thats worth something.

    • MannyGeee

      “Look what happened to the Cardinals”

      you mean in the playoffs? How about look at the Angels. they spent $270M for the ghost of Albert Pujols. and they’re golfing like a muthafucka right now

  • Rich in NJ

    I wouldn’t give any player over 26 a 9 or 10 year contract.

  • mt

    The mantra “you do not let your best player walk” is interesting – I would love to see a study on that – HOF type or perennial All Star caliber players leaving average to good teams for money reasons and how that average/ good team did after that. Anecdotally, I know Mariners set a wins record after ARod left, Cardinals this year still made playoffs after Pujolds left. Of course Pirates tanked after Bonds left (as I recall) so it’s probably all over the map with so many other factors (did player leave due to trade or free agency, how was money that was “saved” redeployed, did they also get a new manager?, was there a “cant-miss” budding superstar waiting to replace that player (I believe Ichiro came in to Mariners the year after Alex left, for example))

    I change my mind on this so often but right now I think I want Robbie but six years max. Boras mouthpiece Jon Heyman was on Mike Francesca this week and was talking that “he would expect Robbie to seek ten year contract” – in that case, JUST SAY NO.

    This decision cannot be made in a vacuum – Arod has deteriorated more quickly than might have been expected and other offense stalwarts like Tex and Grandy have shown cracks or have slowed down in their game- so given $189 million budget, it is not 100% that Cano will have to be resigned no matter what. Also looming is Jeter turning down his player option for 2014 and hoping to get more money in 2014. If he does that I would say no. but that is just me – I root for Yankee laundry much more than individual players and am wary of Jeter being paid in 2014 and beyond for his excellent 2012 and (hopefully good) 2013.

    • Laz

      I think that it goes more than just losing your best player. It is about having other players around that can fill the void. Sure arod left before that phenomenal mariners season, but there were many more solid players around him, they still led the league in runs.

      • Laz

        Sure the Cards lost some production, but Craig has still been a solid player putting up a .307/.354/.522 line.

  • mick taylor

    trade arod to angels for vernon wells and give angels 20 million for arod’s contracy. that way the angels get rid of wells and pay arod 14 mill a year. or trade arod to dodgers for carl crawford . they are making about the sasame money, so give the dodgers 20 million. either way crawford or wells replace swisher then resign cano, let grandy walk.

    • jjyank

      Can we trade you to Halo’s Heaven for a commenter to be named later?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting


  • Monty

    Sign him for 5-7 years and if Boras tries his usual crap for overpaying and overextending to 9 or 10 years then just have the A Rod Contract handy showing his 5 years and $114m left. Hopefully his devil horns will fall between his legs with his tail.

    • MannyGeee

      that was not a Boras deal. That was a Steinbrenner Special right there, on a silver platter.

    • Laz

      Boras will try to find the best contract he can. He doesn’t care that the arod contract is hurting the team, if another team offers more money he will persuade cano to take that.

  • Luisergi

    I’m on the “let him walk” camp if he goes crazy with the years and bucks.

    I mean, i’d start with 5-100 and would go as far as 6-125 that woul be pushing in for me. If he says no, i’d shake his hand, wish him good luck, turn around and walk away.

    For reference also see; Rodriguez, Alex.

    • thenamestsam

      While I don’t necessarily agree with your exact numbers, I think you have exactly the right idea about drawing a line in the sand somewhere. If you go in with an attitude like “You can’t let your best player walk” or “He’s a true Yankee, he has to stay”, there’s a good chance you’re going to get taken to the cleaners and end up with another A-Rod situation. 4 years later the same fans who were saying you can’t possibly let him walk will be clamoring to dump him for anyone with a pulse.

      There’s a price at which we should keep him and a price at which we should let him go, as sad as that would be. The question is whether he’ll sign for a number you can live with, and until negotiations start, there’s no way of knowing.

      • Laz

        I agree, Also look at the fact that arod hit 54 homers in his contract year and an ops of 1.067 compared to cano’s current high of .929. I’d like to have cano back, but there is a limit where you just have to let him go.

  • Winter

    In my ideal world, Yankees would trade Cano and get some value from him rather than just letting him walk for nothing. Only extend him if it increases his trade value. As much as I love Cano, I’m terrified of him becoming another bad player with a long-term contract. If we could get a couple young, cheap, good players for him I’d take that in a heartbeat, then cry while Cano beats up on our pitching for a few year.

    • RkyMtnYank

      I assume this also includes blaming Cashman when the players we get don’t turn out to be worth shit?

    • Beepernps

      Agreed. Ill go further. Pickup the option on Grandy. Trade Grandy and Cano, for haul of prospects and ready to play players. Use some of those to trade for David Wright. Pickup up Melky on the cheap. Move Arod to DH or trade(If possible, but unlikely.)

  • TomH

    For Hornsby (for some mysterious reason–probably dependent on the age of the writer of that article–not “especially pertinent”), his age 30-33 seasons came to: .361 /.449/ .592 /1.041. Thereafter began the decline (i.e., minimal playing time. Now, as a hitter, Cano ain’t no Hornsby, a world-historical hitter, but it’s very likely he can do pretty damn well for the next 4 years, barring injuries.

    So, give him two more in gratitude and the Yanks will be happy for decades thereafter. Let him take those 4 years elsewhere, and they’ll be laughing-stocks, deservedly so.

    On another matter: he’s highly unlikely ever to be Jeter’s heir as a team leader, at least not based on what we can see in his career to date. And that’s NOT something that could have been said for Jeter at age 29.

    • TomH

      I meant, of course, give him six more, with 4 likely to be pretty good, and two likely to be in decline.

    • thenamestsam

      I don’t even want to try to figure out how old you’d have to be to see Rogers Hornsby as a relevant example of anything. His first major league season was 97 years ago. To try to draw any conclusions based on that is pretty crazy.

      Also to try to make a decision “barring injuries” here doesn’t make much sense. Injuries are a huge part of the reason to be wary of 6 year deals for guys into their mid-30s.

      • TomH

        With that comically-limited time frame of yours, thank God you don’t have decisions to make about anything important to the world at large. 97 years is chicken shit little on the scale of historical relevance to anything.

  • UpstateYanks

    Great read, its cool that you give credit to other bloggers.

  • YanksFanInBeantown

    The thing about Robbie is that he doesn’t really have many comparables. The only other second basemen with his combination of average and power are Jeff Kent, Chase Utley and Rogers Hornsby. Kinsler is on the lower bound of average, and Tony Lazzeri and Bobby Doerr are on the lower bound of power.

    Kent was a quality player until he was 37, Hornsby became more of a manager by the time he was 34 but he was still an effective hitter when he did play, posting 5.4 WAR when he was 35, Doerr was effective through his retirement at 33, as was Lazzeri until his retirement at age 36.

    Comparing him to Biggio or even Morgan is a huge stretch, simply because of their different skill sets.

  • Curt and Bernie

    Try to imagine the Yankees lineup if we don’t resign Cano…catcher: ? (Maybe Martin if we sign him to a two year deal…maybe a rookie Gary Snachez). 1b: Aging Tex. 2b: ?. SS: 40 year old jeter. 3rd: 39 year old A Rod. OF: Gardner, Swisher, ?.
    Does anyone honestly have any faith that lineup would be a good one?

  • RkyMtnYank

    I was wondering if there is a reason why they wouldn’t front load the contract and try and offset the declining years with more of a signing bonus so there’s not another Arod type situation? The AAV would work out the same so I could see even maybe going a 7th year, but, I can certainly see where the player may not want to make themselves more tradable. I guess if it were me I would be in the pay me more now category and take the chance on maybe not staying with the Yankees later.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      If he resigns with the Yankees, he’d have full 10/5 no-trade rights sometime in early-2015 I believe, so that probably wouldn’t be much of an issue.

  • hornblower

    Please let the team and Cano negociate. Nothing pisses me off more than reporters and fans carrying the water for players and agents.

    • RkyMtnYank

      You must be perpetually pissed off, that sucks.

  • http://www.g6tec.com Jedile

    I kind of wish they would give players more incentive laden contracts. for Cano a base of 17M then load it with junk to make him earn up to 25-30M per year. Crazy idea, yes.

  • Chip Off the Ol’Knoblauch

    I can see Cano continuing his greatness for the next 5 years, with some tailing off during the last 2. I’m thinking a long term deal would make sense if you front load the first 5-6 years, give him a player option in that, then pay the him like an average to above average 2B the rest of the contract. If he’s still playing like a champ, he takes option and the Yankees have the resources to re-sign him. If he’s not, he probably takes the remaining years and hopefully they work it so the AAV isn’t too bad.

  • Chris

    I would pay him:

    27, 27, 27, 18, 16, 10, 10 for a total deal of 135. Option at year 8 of 10 mill with a 2 mill buyout.

    If that is not good enough then so be it.

    • RkyMtnYank

      That’s an AAV of about 19mil. I think it will take more than that to resign him though I do like the balance of the front load. Add about a 15mil signing bonus similar to what I’ve stated above and I think there’s a good deal.