Poll: Paying Robinson Cano

Felix Hernandez and the price of pitching
Pineda dropped 20 pounds, will face hitters next month
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Once upon a time, I thought Jose Reyes would tell us something about what it could take to sign Robinson Cano long-term. Both guys were great middle infielders playing for New York teams in their late-20s, so when Reyes hit the open market I figured it would give us a benchmark for Cano. Reyes, as you know, signed a six-year contract worth $106M with the Marlins last year. I was dead wrong. That won’t be nearly enough to keep Cano.

For starters, Robbie is just a flat-out better player than Reyes. Don’t get me wrong, Reyes is no slouch, but Cano has been more productive in the years leading up to his free agency. More importantly, he’s been far more durable. Reyes has a history of hamstring trouble — not exactly ideal for a speed player — including two DL stints in his walk year. Robbie could easily visit the DL this summer, but it would be a surprise given his supreme durability over the last six seasons.

As it stands right now, Cano is going to smash the current second base contract records. His new deal with blow past Chase Utley’s record for total guarantee ($85M) and Ian Kinsler’s record for average annual value ($15M). I mean, those won’t even be close to what Cano will get. He poised to receive a nine-figure deal with Scott Boras running the show, and nine-figure deals tend to have an average value north of $20M annually.

I wrote about Cano’s impending free agency earlier this week, but I want to get an idea of what fans are willing to pay him. For the sake of argument, let’s assume his 2013 production is on par with his 2010-2012 production. Let’s also assume that last year’s struggles against southpaws were a fluke and he gets back to mashing lefties like he had every other year of his career. I picked out four recently signed free agent contracts to serve as reference points.

Seven years, $142 M ($20.3M AAV)
This is the Carl Crawford contract, something that has gone horribly wrong so far. Crawford was only 29 at the time of the signing though, and he’d hit .300+ with 40+ steals in five of the previous six seasons. The lone exception was 2008, when he missed a bunch of time with a wrist problem. He was also an elite defensive player. Crawford was held back by his position, as left field is hardly a premium spot.

Eight years, $160M ($20M AAV)
This one isn’t all that recent, it’s the Manny Ramirez contract. Matt Kemp signed for the exact same amount last winter, but that was an extension. He almost certainly would have gotten more as a free agent. Either way, I wanted something here longer than Crawford’s contract but on par with the annual payout. Manny it is.

Eight years, $180M ($22.5M AAV)
I’m guessing this looks familiar, it’s Mark Teixeira‘s contract. Tex signed his deal at 28 but turned 29 before Opening Day, and like Cano he had been extremely durable and productive leading up to free agency. It’s easy to forget how much of a monster he was back in the day, but Teixeira was a lock for a .290/.370/.550-ish batting line with 30+ homers and 150+ games played every year before joining New York. He’s also an elite defender, but like Crawford an elite defender at a non-premium position.

Nine years, $214M ($23.8 AAV)
Boras managed to land this contract for Prince Fielder last winter, from a team that already had a pretty awesome first baseman no less. Fielder was only 27 at the time of the deal, so three years younger than Robbie will be next winter. He was both insanely productive and durable in the years leading up to free agency, I’m talking 155+ games a year every year. Prince doesn’t get enough credit for playing every day. His offense is needed to offset his defense, which is below-average at a corner spot.

* * *

The only two ten-year contracts given to free agents in recent years were the Alex Rodriguez and Albert Pujols deals. Cano is great, but he’s not in a class with those two. At least not compared to who they were when they signed those contracts. I feel comfortable saying Fielder’s contract is the likely cap for Robbie next winter, though I suppose the new cash-flush market and free-spending Dodgers could change that.

What's the largest contract you would give Cano after the season?
Total Votes: 3127 Started: February 13, 2013 Back to Vote Screen
Felix Hernandez and the price of pitching
Pineda dropped 20 pounds, will face hitters next month
  • Dan

    I predict higher AAV and shorter term. Something silly like 6-7/200. I don’t think they like the inflexibility of these ultra-long contracts and Boras will like it because he can get Cano another big deal afterward.

    • LK

      Doing that type of deal would really screw up the luxury tax calculations though.

    • Preston

      You think he’s going to have an AAV between 28 and 33 million dollars? As in the highest AAV ever? I think you’re getting a little panicky. His AAV isn’t going over the 27.5 in the A-Rod deal.

    • DC

      That is insane AAV. His deal will not top $24-25M AAV.

    • Laz

      Way too high, because 10 year/$200M would still win him. Then if he is unproductive you cut him.

  • kenthadley

    Unless he has a .320/32/125 type of year that projects him as the cleanup hitter for the next 5 years or so, and if he can play 3b, then I’d sign him….otherwise, trade in July or let him walk by end of year.

    • renzostew

      Iagree with you.When will the yankees learn.Let Cano walk he is not worth the money he is asking for.C.joseph and D.Adams can play second base for the yankees.

  • Chris in Durham

    I went w/ 7 years… but I’d actually be willing to raise the AAV to $23M. So 7/$161M.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      I’d also go something along those lines. Definitely prefer the “fewer years/higher AAV” approach. He should be made aware there there is a definite possibility of a position change during the contract period. If he’s not willing to accept something along those lines, then I’d be OK with letting him go, as unpopular as that would be.

      Unless, of course, the Yankees decide that they’re willing to out-spend other teams and go above $189M.

  • Eddard: Back and better than never

    You don’t do anything more than Hamilton’s 5 years, 6 is stretching it. Have we learned nothing from these 8-10 year contracts for stars on the wrong side of 30? If we weren’t already saddled with the A-Rod deal maybe you could swing it but with the $189 austerity budget there’s no way. We already have the most overpaid infield in baseball, might as well add to that.

    You are going to pay the infield $90-100 million if you make this deal. That’s half the budget! Throw in CC’s $20 and you’ve still got to fill relievers, outfield, catcher, other starting pitchers, backups.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      Something is wrong. I more or less agree with you (I would do 5 years plus PA based extensions for years 6 and 7).

    • DC

      This can’t be the real Eddard.

      • Laz

        Real Eddard would never say something this logical.

        • Jim Is Bored

          It’s Eddard’s World, we’re just living in it.

  • EndlessJose

    6 years $125 million sounds better.More than 6 yeras is crazy.Maybe if the 7th years is a option.Canm’t give big money to a second baseman.

  • All Praise Be To Mo

    Do a trade along the likes of Cano to the Cardinals for Taveras or Rangers for Profar. If we can get a high probability & upside prospect for Cano, why not move him a year early instead of just getting a comp pick next year and hope it pans out to be a decent player 5 years from now?

    • Now Batting

      Because the team is trying to win the World Series thus year..

    • trr

      Tough to trade your best offensive player….
      I think the Yanks will re-sign him. Somehere around 6/150-160M seems right. If a team wants to give him 200M + for 7 or 8 years, well, then Adios

    • Havok9120

      Because they have a decent to good shot at a playoff spot this season with him in the lineup and the chances decrease under almost any scenario in which he’s traded.

      • Tyler

        And that’s the exact problem with the Yankees now. This year this year this year when trading him could set us up for the next 5 years, all I hear is how the Yankees need to get younger and we have that chance but instead for getting the youth we throw it away for a chance to win ONE. World Series. When did we win 3/4? Oh that’s right, with a young Jeter, mo, posada, and pettitte

        • Preston

          This is flawed thinking. Trading for prospects does not guarantee you anything. CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee in return for Matt LaPorta, Zach Jackson, Michael Brantley, Rob Bryson, Carlos Carrasco, Jason Donald, Lou Marson, and Jason Knapp. There is one player in both of those packages that is an average big league starter (Brantley). Trading away a shot at a WS for the hope that in 3-4 years a package of young players pans out is silly. It makes sense for a bad teams not for this team. The group of prospects we developed in the 90’s was historically good for the modern era of baseball. If it was that easy every team would do it. It takes a lot of luck. The Yankees are not in a position for it to be worthwhile to roll that dice.

    • Gonzo

      Two way street.

  • toad

    Whether you sign him for seven years, or eight or nine, you have to think that what you are getting is something like three very good years, two good ones, and two average or so. That’s guessing of course, and I won’t argue with anyone who has different expectations.

    The point is that the length of the contract is the payment period, but the package you buy is something else. I’d go for an eight year deal. I think $180 is a stretch, and $160 won’t get it done, so maybe $170. I’d also think about the same total amount on a seven-year deal, because the eighth year is not likely to be very valuable to th eteam.

  • Barry’s Gift Basket

    7 years and 142M is the max that i’d offer. If he doesn’t like it i’d walk away and let somebody else go crazy.

    • mitch

      I agree with that. I think the David Wright extension (7/127) also serves as a good reference point. Cano is better and is unlikely to sign a deal until free agency, so i’d probably tack on another 3 mil/year. 7/148 is the absolute max i would consider.

  • Mike HC

    I think that 160 million sounds about right for total value. I was thinking more like 7 for 160, but 8 for 160 is even better for the Yanks. Is it possible we could be surprised and it won’t be that much? Is a 5-6 year, 120 million deal impossible?

    And agreed I thought the Reyes deal would be a decent comparison at the time. Due to a number of factors, that seems like a pipe dream now.

    • Preston

      The big difference is health. I think the better comps are Crawford and Teixeira. Both were younger, but Cano is better.

      • Mike HC

        I don’t think Cano is better now than Tex was at the time of his deal. But I do think the market has exploded even more since then. Cano could end up getting anything from like 120 mil to 200 mil and I wouldn’t be surprised. It should be interesting. My guess is still in the 160 mil range.

  • Now Batting

    Other…5/$125 aka Josh Hamilton. Probably wont get it done though.

    • jjyank

      No way. Hamilton was older, had past substance abuse issues, and very injury prone. Not comparable at all.

      • Now Batting

        They’re both 31 in their free agency. Hamilton hasp injury history, but Cano has Alomar and Utley as comparables. Second basemen don’t age well.

  • mike_h

    I’m hoping 8 years and $188 million will get it done AAV of $23.5, but it sounds like 8 years and $200 million will only start the conversation especially if Robbie finishes in top 3 for MVP voting

    • DC

      Borus can start the conversation wherever he wants. The only figure that counts is the ending figure.

    • Barry’s Gift Basket

      That’s bananas territory, the Yankees shouldn’t go anywhere near that IMO:

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    So much anger. Anger leads to hate.

    I can’t imagine the explosion in the media if NY didn’t resign Robbie. Can you imagine him going to the Mets for 10/220?

    • Barry’s Gift Basket

      At that price? Yes, yes i can.

    • trr

      uhhhhhh nope!

    • Havok9120

      I hope he does so that I can poke fun at the outraged people that think the Yanks should have matched the deal.

  • http://yankeeanalysts.com Matt Imbrogno

    Option 1. When in doubt, go with the fewest years.

  • Slappy McWaterbug

    Didn’t the market pay like $6mm/win this year? If so, you can sort of work backward from that. If you think he can average 4 WAR over the next 6 years, he’s worth $144mm. I don’t know if those numbers are correct, but I think that’s the right way to think about it.

  • Dalek Jeter

    I…I agree with the contract from #Eddardworld. I mean, I think he’s holding tight at 5-6 years, but for my love of Cano and with the complete lack of second baseman on the farm/in the big leagues that could even come close to his level of production I’d be willing to go 7. With that said though, I would make it very clear to Robbie and Boras that the longer the deal is the more the AAV goes down and that Robbie should be ready to switch to 3rd at some point.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    No trade option?

  • jjyank

    I voted for the Tex contract. Obviously I would love to get him cheaper, but if I’m going to state my absolute cap, that is probably it. Before anyone jumps on me for willing to hamstring the team with another albatross contact, my standard disclaimer applies: Cano is my favorite player and I am very much biased here. I really don’t want to see him in another uniform.

    • Preston

      I disagree with the albatross contract theory. I think paying him a higher AAV over the next five years while we also have huge contracts out to A-Rod and CC and for three of those years Tex, would hamstring us more than having Cano on the books for longer than those five years. 5/150 would be more burdensome to them team in 2014-2018 than 8/180 would be in 2019-2021. Obviously it could become burdensome if we went on a spending spree in the next five years, but if we’re going to spend on one FA who do you see being a FA the next five years who is better than Cano? Just my $0.02.

      • jjyank

        5 years would be great, but I think that’s wishful thinking on your part. I’m in favor of retaining Cano at a high cost, so I guess the answer to your question at the end of your comment would be “nobody”.

        • Preston

          I’m not saying that a five year deal is realistic. I’m saying people seem to want the shorter higher AAV contract rather than a longer lower AAV contract. The next five years is when we need the financial flexibility. Beyond that we have a clean slate. I would rather go long and lower the AAV to give us more flexibility until we can get out from under the A-Rod contract, then pay the 25-30 million AAV that some people seem to be okay with to keep the length down.

          • Preston

            Especially since the current CBA expires after 2016. I think that teams will continue to want to punish the Yankees (and now the Dodgers) for spending over a select cap, but that cap number may very well increase beyond 189, creating more financial flexibility. So again the lower AAV for 2014-2016 would be the more beneficial than having him off the books sooner.

      • OldYanksFan

        Correct. More years means lower AAV. It’s the total dollar figure that’s important, as this contract will basically buy the rest of Cano’s usefulness.

        If you are willing to give him $180m, then make it 10/$180m, and keep the AAV at $18m.

        10/$180m is certainly better then 7/$180m for the Yankees.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        This is exactly my line of thinking on some of this, and why I’m really not afraid to tack on years here. A lot of the current deals will have cycled through by the later years of this deal.

    • RetroRob

      I don’t view Tex’s contract as an albatross, although it could get there. This is an important year upcoming. They’re entering year five of the eight-year deal. His decline started a little quicker than expected, with the Yankees only getting one season at the tail of his peak. From 2007-2009, Tex’s OPS+ was 147. The next three years it’s been 121. wRC+ tells the same story. Hardly an albatross, but concerning by the trend.

      Even last year, with the odd mixture of the cough, the calf, and the early change in his hitting approach, his rWAR was only 0.8 lower than Fielder’s, even with the nearly 40 games missed. Add in the lack of power-hitting 1B’men on the horizon, and I’m not ready to send Tex packing. Remain productive and he’s fine.

      A-Rod’s contract is albatross.

      • Preston

        There is very little chance that Mark Teixeira’s contract will end up being a good “value”. But as long as he doesn’t have another precipitous decline or serious injury it won’t be all that bad. At this point it’s pretty clear that he’s a ~.250 hitter, which is still valuable, given his power and walk combo. The more troubling stat for me is his three year decline in walk rate. If that trend continues and he loses any more average his value will crater. Hopefully he can get his walk rate back up and be a .250/.350/.475 hitter for at least a couple of more seasons.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          We need to capitalize “value” on all of this. How many “peak” sort of years on a long-term deal do you have to have to consider the deal as having “value?” How many not-peak-but-still-solid years? How many years not being a lump of shit in the corner?

          With a long-term deal, you’re paying for all of this. The lump of shit is the “victory lap” the player hopefully gets for years of service at the end. If 75% of that contract is solid, not always rising to peak, performance, you’ve got some fucking value.

          By that metric, sure, Alex is an albatross. Jury is out on Tex. I say he doesn’t come close to approaching that line in the end.

        • RetroRob

          Value is determined by productivity. The cost related to value delivered will favor younger players prevented from getting their market value by the CBA.

          The important part is to deliver value. The Yankees knew Teixeira would decline over the course of the contract, although the mystery with any player is the rate of decline. If Teixeira goes out and plays 140-150 games, cranks 30+ HRs, delivers 800+ OPS with solid defense, then he delivers good value.

          The Yankees need to construct a roster around around Teixeira that overall delivers value in the form of a postseason team. This will include expensive players like Teixeira, and less expensive players like Gardner. It’s the overall balance. When constructing a team, the GM like Cashman needs to look at the overall budget and the overall value, not the individual value by cost because it’s distorted by the CBA.

          As a Yankee fan, the concern is is the team no longer willing to refresh the declining players by signing new free agents. That’s why this offseason is concerning since there is some evidence that the team is changing its strategy and is not willing to bring in new talent to offset the declining players. Just my opinion.

  • Peter R

    He is gonna get a boat load of cash from someone other than the Yanks 7/180 is my guess.

  • RetroRob

    I’m in the seven-year camp, but the AAV is going to be higher than $20M.

    Unlike others, I don’t have a problem paying for decline years, as long as they are still productive. It’s a product of the CBA. Yet, the team needs to be committed to bring new talent to balance out the loss of production in the latter years. The Yankees have done this well up until, well, now. If that’s their new approach, then they are going to have to stay away from long-term contracts of more than five or six years.

    Using A-Rod’s contract as an example, even it would be survivable if it was originally seven years, and not ten. They’d be entering year six, which basically means they could punt on 2014, letting him play if he’s healthy, or trading him with lots of cash thrown in. Unfortunately he has four years remaining after 2013, so the Yankees are locked into him. So, yeah, seven years with Cano is manageable. A couple years of still prime, a couple more plus productive, a couple above average to average, and they can deal with the last year. Nine or ten years? No way. Sad for me to write, because I think it will take more than seven years, so I’m basically back to what I’ve been saying. Unless the Yankees sign Cano to an extension now, he is playing his last year on the team.

  • -V-

    You compared Robinson Cano’s value to two outfielders and two first basemen? Derek Jeter’s 10yrs/189 mil lasted til he was 36 years old. Cano can’t and shouldn’t play 2nd base for the Yankees til he’s 36 let alone 39.

    being that this is baseball, Cano will probably get a contract for 6+ years. Playing by your options, then I would go with 7 yrs/142 mil, but structure the be like this:

    2014: 25 mil (Age 31)
    2015: 25 mil (Age 32)
    2016: 25 mil (Age 33)
    player opt out clause
    2017: 16.75 mil (Age 34)
    2018: 16.75 mil (Age 35)
    2019: 16.17 mil (Age 36)
    2010: 16.17 mil (Age 37)

    • toad

      I think opt-out clauses are worth a lot to the player. Having one after three years should induce him to take a lower value total contract.

      Remember, you are essentially agreeing to pay him more than he’s worth after the third year, so maybe he should take less than he’s worth the first three years.

  • bulasteve

    I would be for giving his the most AAV on a contract but limit it to 4 years.

    • Steve

      If you subscribe to Robinson Tilapia’s “victory lap” theory, would it make sense to do something like 10 years 200? I see people talking about going short years with high AAV but if you take the 189 cap seriously, shouldn’t it be the other way around? You eat the last couple of years of his contract but you save yourself 5 to 6 mil per year for the first 7 or 8. Thoughts?

      • Steve

        I have no idea why this posted as a reply, by the way

      • Preston

        Yes, that would make sense to me.

  • Rick

    With the way second baseman hold up, he’s someone that the team should strongly consider let walk. I’m a huge Cano fan, maybe the biggest, but 7 years at anything over 145 is just crazy. On pace to be a hall of famer, but let someone else pay for the decline. As Mike alluded to the other day, Cardinals were ok without Pujols and the Rangers were ok without Tex. Not an easy decision, but with the financial plan of the team it may be the only option.

  • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

    Please get healthy. And don’t suck.


    • Robinson Tilapia

      …..and make it out of AA?

  • Tom O

    Amazingly, 155+ games actually sells Price short! He’s missed exactly one game over the past four seasons, and his lowest amount of games in a full season was 157 in his first full year.

  • Tom O

    Amazingly, 155+ games actually sells Prince short! He’s missed exactly one game over the past four seasons, and his lowest amount of games in a full season was 157 in his first full year.

  • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

    The maximum I’m willing to pay for Cano is $10 million more than the Dodgers’ best offer.

    • DC

      So if the Dodgers went crazy and offered him the Arod contract, you would offer $10M more?

      • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)


        Obviously not, but I honestly don’t believe in letting homegrown superstars go.

      • Preston

        Maybe in that situation just a dollar more…

    • Govin

      Which means Cano will be the first player ever to get a 300million dollar contract.

  • http://www.twitter.com/matt__harris Matt :: Sec110

    I voted ‘forget it, let him walk’, but that wasn’t what I’d do, instead closest.

    I’d trade him, get value. As for the contracts there, the 7 year deal Crawford got is the longest I’d sign him for.

  • Bill

    He going to the Dodgers Hal doesnt want to compete with the big boys think of $ 189 million

    • DC

      Yes, because a $189M budget leaves NY competing with scrubs like Houston and Miami.

    • LitFig


  • OldYanksFan

    I read a very good post that listed all the 2nd basemen that had accummulated at least 30 WAR by age 30, and how that group did over the rest of their career. Unfortunately, I CAN’T FIND IT.

    From memory, only 1 player posted 30+ WAR in the ‘2nd half’ of their career, and I think only 3 others above 25.

    So let’s reverse engineer this.
    In the last 7 years, ages 23-29, Robbie has accummulated 34.3 WAR, or about 5 WAR/yr. So the question is, how many WAR might he post in the 7 years after his FA (ages 31-37)?

    Well… let’s be crazy optimistic and say e MATCHES his last 7 years of 34.3 WAR. At $5m/WAR, he would be worth $171m.

    I personally like to use $4.5m/WAR, but we will keep this high side.
    So while it’s possible the Robbie’s ‘2nd half’ could match his 1st, even in that unlikely scenerio, he’s worth $171m tops.

    If you want to assume no major injuries and do a little regression starting at age 34, he might post WARS of 5, 5, 5, 4.5, 4, 3.5 and 3.
    3 WAR at age 37 ain’t crazy in either direction. So…. this would be a total of 30 WAR, or $150m.

    So to me, he may actually be worth $140-$150m over the next 7 years.
    So… how much extra ‘tax’ are you willing to throw in because of the ‘elite-players-always-get-overpaid-on-long-term-signings’ syndrome?

    7/$142 is certainly worth the risk, but Cano can do better.
    8/$160 has us paying a $15m-$20m ‘tax’ to try and get him.

    And with the possibility of injury or ‘2nd baseman decline’, both those 2 scenerios are probably overpays.

    Anything higher, obviously, is very dangerous, and a repeat of past mistakes.

    I would go 7/$148m, and hope Cano would like to spend his career in Pinstripes.

    • thenamestsam

      Your entire analysis is wrong because you forgot about inflation. $5M/WAR might be a decent estimate for 2013 (seems like it may have been a bit higher this offseason). It is an extremely, extremely low estimation to use for 2019 or 2020.

  • Terry

    I didnt read over all of the comments and maybe this comment is ludicrous in itself.

    This is all about money/security right? The reason contracts like A-Rods and Texs contracts are terrible are because they committ a lot of money per year long term which effects the teams spending for years to come, especially down the road. With that said, why not “mortgage” your present for a future friendly deal? Sounds odd in my head but what if you gave Cano a 7/150 but severly load one year, say 2015 for example, to pay him 40 million. Then the remainder of his contract he is fairly reasonably priced. Im sure the luxury tax that year would hurt, but maybe you dont spend on two 1 year 10+ million dollar players and roll the dice with youngsters.

    But this might not even be possible. It seems like to mitigate long term risk this might be a plausible idea.

    • Preston

      The cap is only effected by the average annual value of the contract. So you could pay the player all of the contract in one year but for cap purposes it would be spread out evenly over the length of the contract. For monetary purposes it often makes sense to backload contracts because of the time value of money. Sometimes a team will front load so that they aren’t excessively overpaying at the end. But none of that effects the players yearly cap number.

    • Havok9120

      Luxury tax is based on average annual value of the deal rather than the actual payments made per year. Frontloading, backloading, or any other kind of creative loading will make no difference in term of the tax.

      That said, frontloading a deal CAN make it easier for owners, accountants, and fans of teams that don’t need to worry about the luxury tax threshold to accept a long contract that includes decline years.

  • LitFig

    I think we are forgetting something regarding Cano’s future contract with the Yankees:

    Positional flexibility.

    After this season, Tex and ARod will be on the books for 3 and 4 years, respectively. Cano if resigned will be elite/really good defensively for at least the next 3 years. If he shows slippage at the end of the third year, you have your choice of whether to put him at 1st or 3rd. His offensive production plays well at either position.

    I voted for 8/$180 mil. I know we might hate adding the 8th year, but there is always a “big city premium” that stars have to be paid to sign in a big market. Plus, he’s already a Yankee and the best player on the team. There won’t be a real adjustment period to a new team or clubhouse.

    I prefer to be real about the situation as opposed to hoping that a top 5 position player who never gets hurt and will be the prime FA target in his class is signing a 5 year deal with the Yankees.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Yeah. This is definitely where my head leans the most for sure.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    wow, I can’t believe that so many people would give him 7/142. That’s nuts imo! I’d not offer more than 5/110.

    • Preston

      Then you have no concept of what current FA prices are. If all you’re willing to offer is 5/110 then you might as well not offer him a contract.

      • Bavarian Yankee

        I know the prices. In fact I would offer him 5/110 and expect him to decline. That’s why I would’ve traded him this offseason.

        • thenamestsam

          Okay, so you clearly realize that he’s going to get paid more than that. So basically what your first comment is saying is “Wow, I can’t believe so many die-hard Yankee fans would offer Robinson Cano, a homegrown Yankee superstar, the best player on the team, and an obvious fan favorite a market rate contract.”

          That…does not make sense.

          • Bavarian Yankee

            paying players crazy numbers – even if more teams are doing it these days – just doesn’t make sense. It’s way smarter (imo at least) to spread the money around and not spend like 3/5 of your payroll on 5 players.

            just because it’s market rate doesn’t mean you have to pay it. If others do … so be it. Monster contracts almost never work out well for teams and I have no reason to believe that this time it’ll be any better.

            • Preston

              Big money contracts of the 100 million variety get all the press. But lesser contracts also don’t work out. John Lackey and AJ Burnett didn’t sign 100 million dollar deals, but they didn’t work out so well. The Milton Bradley/Carlos Silva types also don’t usually work out. Even a one year deal is risky, because usually there is a reason that the player is willing to sign a one year deal. There is risk involved in every contract. That’s just the name of the game.

              • Bavarian Yankee

                That’s why I wouldn’t have done the Burnett-, Lackey-, Milton-, Silva-deals either ;)

                true, there’s always some risk. You can control the risk to a certain degree. Signing guys on the wrong side of 30 to triple digit million dollar deals is never a safe bet.

                Somebody said something smart a few days ago (unfortunately I forgot who that was): you have to pay guys for what they WILL do, not for what they’ve done already. Will Cano hit .300 with 25+ homers and gold glove defense during the next 5-7 years? If you think so then you pay him big money of course. I just don’t think he will, even if he stays healthy.

                • RetroRob

                  Ahh, but then you have made a decision you will pretty much never sign a player over 30 because other teams will offer more. Okay, that is a strategy, but it will lead to the most important part of that decision. How do you maintain a winning team by knowingly cutting off one of the three legs of team building, namely free agency?

                  • Bavarian Yankee

                    well, I’m not saying you shouldn’t pursue 30+ aged FAs at all. But you have to hand out smarter contracts. Give them more AAV but shorter contracts. Say 3/100 or 4/120 for Cano. If that’s not good enough for the FA then move on. It also depends on the player: I rather give a 1B or an OF a massive contract because it won’t hurt that much if they decline defensively (like Josh Hamilton. Probably would’ve done that deal too).

                    Plus the Yankees need to realize that they can’t wait until a players reaches FA and then try to extend him. That’s the only reason why we’re having this conversation right now.

                    • Bavarian Yankee

                      have to correct myself: eh, just looked at Hamilton’s deal. Would’ve done it for 4/100, but not 5/125. Maybe 4/100 + an option if he stays healthy or something like that.

        • voiceofirrationalrationale

          Exactly. You dont wait to be held hostage by player and agent, especially Boras. If deemed a player to build around, you try to extend at 2 years out from f/a, at reasonable years, aav. If not doable, trade at high value, and reload for quality, team controlled pieces.

          • Preston

            So you can never retain a player who wants to test the open market? The Yankees aren’t being held hostage by anyone. They are going to have to decide whether they want to pay him the fair market value or not. Everybody wants to blow it up. In case you hadn’t noticed over the last two decades the Yankees have constantly turned over their roster and constantly been an elite team without needing to blow it up even once. Let’s continue doing that please.

  • voiceofirrationalrationale

    What was the last multi-year, high AAV contract (6, 7 years, >16mm per) that is/was deemed a “good investment” ? Now count those that weren’t. What do you conclude ?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Who is doing the deeming?

      I think there are many teams that would consider their own long-term deals good investments, regardless of what the final years looked like.

      Als, Derek Jeter and Mike Mussina.

      • voiceofirrationalrationale

        Huh ? Do you have examples of teams good, long-term, high aav investments ? And why would you dismiss last years of a high aav contracts ? Im sure there are some good ones out there, but I’ll guess preponderance of most were “bad business”. This aint Reggie getting a mil per and earning every penny.

        • Cool Lester Smooth (Formerly YanksFanInBeantown)

          He gave two examples: Derek Jeter and Mike Mussina.

          Jeter earned $189 million from 2001-2010 and produced 47.9 WAR. That’s $191.6 million of production if you value it at $4m/WAR and $215.55 million at $4.5m/WAR.

          Mussina earned $88.5 million from 2001-2006 and produced 30 WAR. That’s $120 million of production at $4m/WAR and $135 million at $4.5m/WAR

          A-Rod’s first mega-contract was also a great deal. From 2001-2007 he earned $158.4 million and produced 57 WAR. $228 million at $4m/WAR and $256.5 million at $4.5m/WAR. After 7 years he had already created a surplus on his 10/$250m deal.

    • Preston


      Injuries are the difference between good and bad long term contracts. That’s it. If they stay healthy they usually work out, if they don’t then they look terrible.

  • johnscou

    I think the survey should have included an option for the Yanks to pursue a trade. I’m curious how the blog readers would have voted given that option.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I have that 8/200 that’s been thrown around in my head while reading this, and I’ve certainly been on the more lenient end when it comes to Cano’s contract. Since that contract wasn’t up there, yes, I will freely admit to being one of the free-spending bozos who voted “give him whatever he wants.” I could see myself falling under Boras’s spell here.

    Luckily, no one returns my calls when apply for GM jobs.

  • Buhner’s barber

    I hope everyone that’s a fan of letting him walk realizes that this probably isn’t a playoff team without Cano.

    • WhittakerWalt

      I think these are probably the same people who complained about “too many homahs” last year. The same fans who will be pulling their hair out in mid-April when Girardi’s already had the team sac bunt 50 times.

  • voiceofirrationalrationale

    You can slice and dice it anyway you want. Bottom line is that these mamoth, guaranteed deals, are cripplers and guarantee nothing. It’s all about the farm, farm, farm !!!

    • WhittakerWalt

      If you want to see a 60-win team, then by all means play the kids.

    • Preston

      The farm isn’t a guarantee of anything either, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive. The Yankees should explore all avenues to improve the team including the farm, trades and free agency.

    • Get Phelps Up

      That line of thinking has really helped the Royals in the last 25 years, hasn’t it?

      • WhittakerWalt


  • 189,189,189,…dont you hate thatnumber

    who cares…just win…lets see do you want him at second or a minor league guy….

  • voiceofirrationalrationale

    Royals ? Dont forget; The Giants, Cardinals, A’s, Rays …, yeah, just throw money ,at the problem, we’ll be fine. I like home-grown players. Feels good to follow their ascension, etc..,

  • Virginia Yankee

    There should have been an option to TRADE HIM — This team is going NOWHERE — need replenishment with under 26 yr old position players. The draconian approach to getting under the desired budget is probably wrong given the need to field a championship calibre team but since we are stuck with the approach Cano is the only asset that can bring several solid or better ML “near ready” players.

    I am a Robbie lover from the WOMACK lunacy – thanks to my DTV and trips to Baltimore an the Stadium I have seen all but a few games and marveled at his defense and offense BUT still he is a wasting value asset and at an inflated price – buy low -sell high works in building/maintaining teams.

    Winter RAB discussions advocated trading to CARDINALS — that is the best approach.