Yanks’ hardball stance with Cano could benefit all

Feinsand: Yankees, Beltran have mutual interest; contract years an issue
What Went Right: Robinson Cano, #KabakHat
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)
(Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images)

It’s easy to talk a big game, especially when dozens of reporters and columnists hang on your every word. The Yankees certainly took advantage of their captive audience early in the off-season, pronouncing interest in essentially every high-end free agent. But talk is cheap, especially concerning something as unpredictable as the free-agent market. The Yankees certainly had a way out of their heavy proclamations.

Just because you’re interested in free agents, doesn’t mean that you’ll sign them. While not all 29 other teams are in on every available player, there is typically a healthy level of competition for the best free agents. Each team has its own limits on dollars and years. The Yankees easily could have justified not signing any of the top free agents, by merely saying that each was an overpay they weren’t willing to make.

The Brian McCann signing indicates that the Yankees aren’t just full of hot air. They addressed their biggest need, and will now move on to fill the other weaknesses on their roster. As Mike noted yesterday, reports have emerged that the Yankees are talking aggressively with other free agents, and even have offers out to some of them. The winter of 2012-2013 this is not.

While the Yankees likely have genuine interest in signing each of the players with whom they’re engaged, at least part of the reason for their aggression has to do with their own free agent, Robinson Cano. As Joel Sherman notes, the Yankees “badly want to retain the second baseman,” and are attempting to move quickly on him. Cano, for his part, appears ready to wait out the market until he gets the offer he wants. But the Yankees’ tactics could change his tune.

Current reports have the Yankees’ offer to Cano at seven years at $165 million, which is about $1 million more per year than the Yankees paid Mark Teixeira five years ago. The offer runs one fewer year, but Cano is also two years older than Teixeira was at the time of signing. Sherman notes that the Yankees “perhaps have some wiggle room upward…[b]ut not much.” What that means, exactly, in terms of perhaps a $175 contract for seven years, or a replica of Teixeira’s $180 million for eight years, is anyone’s guess. Regardless of where the Yankees will go, they have the best, and only, offer currently available to Cano.

By aggressively pursuing other free agents, the Yankees are implicitly signaling to Cano that they will not wait around for him, and that their dollars will be spent whether or not he signs. That’s bad news for Cano and his agents. Losing the leverage of the Yankees will hurt their bargaining positions with the 29 other teams, many of which won’t even place a bid for Cano’s services. What are his chances of getting an offer even close to the Yankees’ current one with his home team out of the bidding?

It only takes one team, for sure, as Prince Fielder learned two off-seasons ago. Yet the Tigers, who submitted the winning bid very late in the off-season, just paid $30 million to be rid of Fielder and the remainder of his contract. In fact, a number of other free agent contracts recently handed out might serve as a warning to teams that value long-term financial flexibility. The cases of Fielder, Albert Pujols, Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez could have teams gun shy about deals of even eight years. What are the chances that Detroit jumps back into the long-term free agent pool the very same winter they traded the previous guy?

The Yankees, as reports indicate, wish to meet with Cano this week to, as Jon Heyman puts it, “figure out whether there’s something to talk about.” If there’s not, it appears the Yankees will pursue the remaining players on their list without regard to Cano. That situation could prove costly. Imagine a scenario where the Yankees spend $200 million this off-season. Now imagine Cano signing in January for less than the $165 million the Yankees have currently on the table. Without them in the race, that could certainly happen. It wouldn’t be an impressive debut effort from Jay Z, and you can be sure the media, nationwide, will hammer home that point.

Alternatively, imagine Cano agreeing to a seven- or eight-year deal between $175 and $180 million. It will be a far cry from his $300 million request, but it will also come from the home team. Cano and his agents can actually spin this in a way that makes Cano seem like the good guy for taking “only” $180 million.

His intention all along was to stay in New York, and he was willing to back off a contract he felt he deserved in order to do so. He was moved by the retirement of Mariano Rivera and wants a similar sendoff for himself as a Yankee.

Cano gets paid more than any other free agent this off-season and last, and he could make more than any next off-season, depending on the market for Hanley Ramirez. He stays with the team where he is most visible and marketable, while coming off looking like the good guy. The Yankees get their man, at a not-too-inflated price. Everyone comes out ahead.

It’s tough to see exactly how this will play out. Both sides have talked big games, to the point that they’re approaching a game of chicken. We should get a good idea soon which one blinks.

Update: ESPN NY’s Andrew Marchand reports, well, basically what was just laid out here. There’s a time limit on the “best offer” that the Yankees can make. It’s not a take it or leave it ultimatum, but it’s essentially saying that if Cano doesn’t budge, the Yanks will move on with their priorities and won’t have enough money left to offer Cano the $160-plus-million they have on the table currently.

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Feinsand: Yankees, Beltran have mutual interest; contract years an issue
What Went Right: Robinson Cano, #KabakHat
  • lou

    T h e y s h o u l d h a v e t r a d e d Cano during last season to reinforce the Yankees glaring holes. Who knows could have had two or three possibly less holes to fill?

    • I’m One

      Unlikely, as the team that got him would have only had him for half a season and would not have gotten draft pick compensation if he didn’t re-sign.

    • Pee Wee Herman Ruth

      There are many holes in your logic…

      • TWTR

        His logic is fine. The only uncertainty is what they could have gotten back.

        • MannyGeee

          False. The logic sucks. A bird in the hand.

        • Havok9120

          Which is a pretty big flaw, wouldn’t you say? Especially since he’s assuming we get multiple MLB-ready prospects who would have been almost immediately ready to produce at a higher level than what is currently available.

          • JonS

            Mike ran through that scenario many times during the season and said tat because of Cano’s value to a contending team, NYY would have still gotten back a good return.

            • Havok9120

              “Good,” is not only vague as all Hell, has different meanings to different teams, and doesn’t actually present a scenario, reasonable or otherwise…but I don’t think it would mean multiple high-level MLB ready pieces.

              That’s a “great” haul, not a good one. What’s more, there’s still the issue of him being more valuable to us than to any other team AND the whole “thumbing your nose at the fans again” thing. They couldn’t say “our priority remains a contending team” and then trade their only superstar.

              • qwerty

                they’ve already thumbed their noses at the fans with their insane ticket prices. Nuff said on that topic.

                As for Cano’s trade value, I’d say “good” is an understatement. Are we seriously going to entertain the idea that Cano would only have garnered a bunch of second or third tier prospects in a potential trade? Cmon.

                • qwerty

                  I would have traded Cano during the 2012/2013 offseason.

                • JohnnyC

                  The Red Sox have the highest average ticket price in MLB ($106). The Yankees are 4th ($77) behind the Rangers ($92) and Cubs ($90). Maybe you should get around a bit more. And I’m sure Sox fans are livid over paying insane prices to watch the 2013 WS champions. Sometimes a little knowledge saves a lot of indignation. Nuff said.

      • Slugger27

        whats wrong with his logic? its a stance i agree with. their return wouldve certainly been better than whatever the wouldve gotten with the pick, and probably closer to the big leagues too.

        they could still re sign him as a FA, just like theyre trying to do now. really, the only thing they wouldve lost out on is staying relevant a few extra weeks in september, a tradeoff i wouldve gladly made.

        • jjyank

          A trade off you might have made, but not a trade off that MLB teams make in real life. Stars aren’t traded for prospects while the team is in contention. I don’t consider not trading Cano mid-season to be possible in reality.

          • TWTR

            They were only marginally in contention. So it was about taking a small step back to take two step forward.

            Granted, it wan’t in the Yankees’ reality, for better or worse, but other teams have jump started rebuilding/reloading plans with similar moves.

            And because the Yankees still have deep pockets, as Slugger said, they could have still re-signed him.

            • jjyank

              They were what, like 3 games out of a wildcard spot at the deadline? How many teams trade their best player in that situation?

              And a small step backward? More like a huge step backward. Also, the “two steps forward” could easily have resulted in two more steps backward. We’re playing a hypothetical game in a fantasy world here.

              • TWTR

                But there were a lot of teams to jump over at various points in July, making even a relatively small jump in the standing that much more problematic.

                And if they somehow made the playoffs, did you really think they could make a run? I didn’t, even with the “playoffs sometimes being a crapshoot” thing.

                Hal talks about fielding a WS contender every single year. As counterproductive as that can be, they certainly weren’t that this past season.

                The key is what would the return have been and would they have made a strong effort to re-sign him in the offseason, as they are now.

                I don’t think at least one ML ready top prospect plus other valuable lesser stuff was an unreasonable expectation.

                If that’s true,and if the re-signed Cano, that’s hardly a bad plan or a step back.

                It’s a big leap forward.

                • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

                  “I didn’t, even with the “playoffs sometimes being a crapshoot” thing.”

                  Airtight logic, right there, everyone.

                  • Wolfgang’s Fault

                    Yeah, let’s leave it to the Peckerhead to school us on logic.

                • jjyank

                  “And if they somehow made the playoffs, did you really think they could make a run? I didn’t, even with the “playoffs sometimes being a crapshoot” thing.”

                  That’s not the point. Show me a team in contention that trades their best player.

                  Instead, I will point to all the times that this doesn’t happen as evidence that trading Cano was a fantasy scenario. Since I don’t believe it would have happened in real life, I find it silly to discuss.

                  • Wolfgang’s Fault

                    It would have been the wise if not “smart” thing to do. This ownership isn’t capable of that sort of adventure so a moot point, but had it been my call, Robbie would have been dealt to the highest bidder, & we could have considered him as a F/A this offseason.

                • I’m One

                  Even top prospects don’t always work out, especially in the short term. So it could have worked or could just have easily, or even more likely have been 2 steps back.

                  • Robinson Tilapia

                    It’s my understanding that, had the Yankees acquired Wil Myers, he would have died on the spot from misuse anyway.

                    • Havok9120

                      That’s certainly been lou’s view.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  “But there were a lot of teams to jump over at various points in July, making even a relatively small jump in the standing that much more problematic.”

                  At one point between July and September, they actually leapt over the majority of them.

                  I can’t imagine ever turning your back on a chance just because it’s a bit difficult.

                  “And if they somehow made the playoffs, did you really think they could make a run? I didn’t, even with the ‘playoffs sometimes being a crapshoot’ thing.”

                  Yes. You are entitled to a different opinion. That’s fine.

                  “Hal talks about fielding a WS contender every single year. As counterproductive as that can be, they certainly weren’t that this past season.”

                  It was not a strong team. Agreed. However, they were in contention at the end of July, and we’ve seen other extremely flawed teams overperform at the right team. The San Francisco Giants have had two flawed teams win championships recently, for example.

                  “The key is what would the return have been and would they have made a strong effort to re-sign him in the offseason, as they are now.”

                  The key, to me, was would the team have been better off between the deadline and the end of the season with or without him. That’s a major difference from what you’re saying. Those other points don’t even enter the equation, to me, until that first part gets answered.

                  “I don’t think at least one ML ready top prospect plus other valuable lesser stuff was an unreasonable expectation.”

                  In order to trade Cano, under those circumstances, you had better had offered a bigger haul than that.

                  “If that’s true,and if the re-signed Cano, that’s hardly a bad plan or a step back.

                  It’s a big leap forward.”

                  “A Big Leap Forward,” available in the fiction section of your local Barnes & Noble, or at Amazon.com.

                  • Havok9120

                    With a foreward by Mao? He liked a phrase pretty close to that, and it worked about as well as most teams’ attempts to rebuild.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      With a foreword by someone else who thinks they’re Mao on the internet.

                • BamBamMusings

                  As great as it would’ve been to get a return back for him, you cant trade away your best player in the middle of the wild-car hunt. Not only that, we had just added Sori, and were getting Granderson + ARod back from injuries. Tradng away Cano would’ve been shocking.

                  • Havok9120

                    Not to mention incredibly insulting to the fans and confirmation to the portion of the fanbase screaming “SEE?? They don’t care AT ALL!”

                • MannyGeee

                  Everything everyone just said… plus, you’re a jackass.

                  Also, no team was trading for Cano, giving valuable players to fill ‘multiple holes’ (as you put it) and not making the 48 hrs to work out an extension clause.

                  Its all a fantasy world on top of a hypothetical basejump. Get over it, we are where we are.

                  • Albearrrr

                    We would’ve gotten .10$ on the dollar IF that! Definitely not worth the gamble when you’re in a wild-card hunt.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              What team, 2-3 games out of the WC at the trading deadline, has chosen to completely punt instead? Give us actual answers to that. Perhaps you’ll find some and, then, we can talk about how other teams have made similar decisions to the one you speak of.

              I’m not getting into this “but they could have just signed him back” stuff. What precedent is there for that? Cliff Lee returned to a team he previously played for after making a pit stop somewhere else, yet he’s the most-often utilized example of such.

              Trading Cano at the deadline was a decision the team could have made, and I can’t imagine a bigger middle finger to the fanbase, after already raising the other middle finger the previous off-season, they could have given.

              • MannyGeee

                Again… THIS IS NOT THE NBA.

                In the NBA, players are traded and opt out and go back, the the cap hit is circumvented and all are happy. Just like in the NBA you can legit tank a season and trade for picks where rebuilding is much more feasible.

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  If this was the NBA, I’d be bragging about back-to-back championships. BOOM.

            • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

              How many teams have successfully “jump started” a reloading/rebuilding plan that way? 2? 3? At most? How many have failed? How many of those teams had even half of the financial clout the Yankees do?

              • Robinson Tilapia

                If you remove the question mark between the 2 and 3 and place them together, you’d come close to the Pittsburh Pirates.

  • TWTR

    It’s not a game of chicken if the Yankees are truly serious about their current contract offer being the upper limit of what they are willing to pay (we can only hope).

    That is the way the Yankees need to approach contracts with any player over 30. Overpaying in terms of AAV is fine, but in terms of years it’s reckless because they have been burned too many times.

    • lou

      Should have traded him.

      • TWTR

        I don’t disagree, but they have a different business model. So all I can hope for is that they spend smartly as they implement it.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    So…..if the Yankees and Cano reach an agreement early, what becomes of the numerous other FA’s they’re looking into? Cano doesn’t erase needs at other positions.

    This is where the plan has yet to reveal itself, McCann or no McCann.

    I wonder if the early agreement leads to bigger temptation to pull back. All speculation, of course.

    Everyone knows I think this is all for show, of course.

    • I’m One

      Sticking to my belief that Hal and team are betting on a full-season suspension of A-Rod. If they win, they might manage to stay under the $189M celery cap. If they lose, the have a very strong team. Seems like a win-win to me.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Alex clearly did a stand-up job of presenting his own arbitration case.

        I’m with Hal on that one.

      • jjyank

        That’s the strategy I hope they are rolling with. Agreed.

        • MannyGeee

          its the only logical explanation to me as well, but what do I know… #Polyannas

          • Havok9120

            Yeah, with McCann signed and the offer to Cano still open, I can’t see how their plan could be anything other than this, unless that “400 innings” thing was just BS.

        • OldYanksFan

          Well… if ARod ‘only’ gets 100 games, that’s an extra $17m to play with. Less risky when betting on the $189m pie. 85 games is around $14m.

          • I’m a looser baby so why don’t you kill me?

            He may run into the 6 HRs he needs for the next bonus in those 62 games though…

  • Nathan

    If he wants to have a long drawn out process to get extract every penny from the Yankees, let him. I hope the Yankees continue to address their other needs and if it turns out someone else comes along and is willing to pay Cano top dollar, let them.

  • JoeyA

    Not only has Pujols & Fielders’ contracts looked bad, but they did so within the first couple years.

    Say what you will about Alex, but his deal didn’t go sour until 2011.

    • thenamestsam

      Yankees got 3 really good years on a 10 year deal (2011 he was hurt, but quite productive when healthy). I mean it’s better than it going bad in Year 1, but hardly worth writing home about.

  • Ben

    Robinson was a foolish to leave Boras, he’ll soon see that for himself. Jay-z is a crazy arrogant inexperienced tool.

    All last year Yankees waited for Cano to step up and lead the team, he was dormant until Arod came back.

    Cano won’t put butts in the seats, no one is coming to see him !

    • jsbrendog

      except…jay z isn’t really an agent negotiating deals. he is the faceto get people to join the agency and show them around and buy them cars. Roc nation sports is partnered with CAA, a real agency. not just any agency but the biggest and most successful sports agency there is according to thie june 2013 forbes article

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/ja.....gencies-2/

      look at #2?

      boras.

      so he left boras…to join the #1 sports agency….partnered with jay z…

      i mean, it makes sense even if it doesn’t end up getting him the biggest contract.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

      Jay-z can be as crazy, arrogant or inexperienced as me, and it would have no effect on the merits of Cano’s decisions, as brendog laid out.

  • Kosmo

    if Beltran signs for 15 mil per, Cano signs for 25 million per, NY will still have 12 million to play with, AROD will be suspended for at least 50 games, my guess is 100 games. If you include ARODs suspension NY will have approx. 22-30 million or perhaps even more to spend on a FA starting pitcher, 3B , Tanaka, a reliever and the bench.

    Tanaka- 10 million
    Kuroda- 15 million
    reliever- 3 million
    Chavez 3B – 3 million
    Jeff Baker 3B/2B/OF – 1.75 million

    • blake

      McCann (17) + Cano (25) + Beltran (15)+ Tanaka (10) + Kuroda (15) + reliever (3) + Chavez (3)+ Baker (1.75).

      That’s like 90 million and they only had 80 to spend even if Arod is suspended the whole season

      • Bavarian Yankee

        this.

        add that Tanaka will get more than 10 million anyway, probably something around 12-14. They also need a) a better reliever than one that signs for 3 million and b) at least 2 relievers imo.

        I just can’t see how they’ll be able to stay under the limit unless there are some trades or Cano signs somewhere else.

  • Mr. Pappageorgio

    No way anyone would buy Cano trying to pretend he cares one bit about the prestige of being a Yankee Legend. The Mariano pageantry meant nothing to him. He already said so himself. No hometown discount. It’s all about the money. If he signs for considerably less than what he wants, it will look exactly like what it is: a guy who’s only desire was the richest contract he could possibly get, and settled for the best thing out there.

    • jjyank

      “The Mariano pageantry meant nothing to him. He already said so himself.”

      Link? If he said anything of the sort, I sure missed it.

      He’s been playing at a home town discount for years now. He wants to get paid. Why do so many fans look upon that so poorly?

      You also have no insight at all into what the man wants. Maybe he does want to be a life long Yankee, but still wants to be paid market value for his services. Claiming that he doesn’t care at all is talking right out of your ass.

      • I’m One

        He’s been playing at a home town discount for years now.

        Don’t agree. He signed an extension that he and his agent thought was fair at the time. He could have finished his arbitration years and test the FA market afterwards, but chose to take what appeared to be a good contract at the time. In my opinion, that’s not playing at a home town discount.

        The problem now is one of determining his value. There’s no one more valuable at his position. The biggest problem is a limited market. No one’s willing to pay Prince Fielder money for him, at least not yet.

        • jjyank

          My point is that he hasn’t been paid market value for what his production has been. Maybe he didn’t sign the extension with the intention of giving a home town discount, but he’s still been underpaid relative to his production over the life of the extension.

          Regardless, I don’t see what’s so wrong with wanting to get paid market value the first time he’s a free agent. Him not signing at a discount now doesn’t mean he’s some greedy asshole who cares for nothing other than money. Don’t most players do exactly the same thing when they’re free agents?

          • I’m One

            That is what agents are paid to do, maximize the value they can get for their client.

            It doesn’t seem Cano will get a contract that matches his production. For whatever reason, I don’t see him matching a Fielder or Pujols contract despite the fact that he puts up tremendous offensive numbers year after year, plays a premium position and is better at it than nearly anyone else playing that position, and has rarely been injured. He should be a top earner in the sport, yet it seems he won’t be. He’ll need to come to terms with that at some point.

            • jjyank

              I don’t think we’re talking about the same thing here. I’m merely trying to point out how silly the original post is. I’m not advocating for Cano to get the Fielder contract because it’s more fair to his level of play.

      • Mr. Pappageorgio

        Are you joking? If having a monument in Yankee Stadium meant anything to him, if becoming a Yankee legend meant anything to him, if retiring in a similar fashion as Rivera or Pettitte meant anything to him, he wouldn’t have floated this ridiculous 305 million dollar 10 year deal to the Yankees who were trying to engage him earlier this fall.

        I’m all for people getting paid market value for what they work hard to do. But let’s not get delusional and think that the Yankee prestige will factor into Cano’s decision making at all.

        http://www.nydailynews.com/spo.....-1.1515136

        • jjyank

          Are you joking? That his agent floated an inflated number means that Cano cares nothing for anything Yankee related? You are inferring far, far too much from a simple negotiation tactic.

          Yes, I think it was a dumb number to float just because of how ridiculous it is, but holy hell are you reading too much into it.

        • Havok9120

          So because his agent floated a crazy number as the price for keeping him from testing the FA market, he doesn’t care at all about legacies, or Yankee history, and he didn’t take anything from the retirement tour?

          Puh-leeze.

    • mitch

      I wouldn’t expect him to take a hometown discount or anything, but there are legitimate benefits to resigning with the Yankees. He wouldn’t have signed with Jay-Z if image/marketing wasn’t important to him, and the Yankees would maximize that side of things for him.

      • I’m One

        Agree with this. There are benefits by signing with a NY team that you don’t get in, say, Washington DC. The exposure and opportunities available during your career that can continue to benfit you afterwards are just not the same in nearly any other market.

    • Bart

      Then you’ve got an even lazier Cano who feels slighted by the Yankees, not motivated to give his best.

      Let him go, Arod is advising him too you better believe behind the scene
      to spite the Yankees~

      • jjyank

        Now A-Rod is advising Cano to spite the Yankees? Where do you people come up with this shit?

        • I’m One

          Pulled from a dark place no one really wants to know about …

        • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead

          I’d actually be extremely entertained if this were reality. Maybe I should start smoking/injecting the same stuff the people who make this stuff up are.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          They’re both Puerto Rican, aren’t they?

          • MannyGeee

            I see what you did there

        • gageagainstthemachine

          If Cano is taking career advice from a man who was on top of the world in baseball and has (potentially) thrown it all away…well, then Cano has bigger issues than Jay-Z, Roc Nation, and marketability. I wouldn’t listen to a word ARod said if I was Cano or, hell, even MYSELF.

          • jjyank

            Well considering the only evidence that we have that this is the case is some whack job on an internet forum…

            I wouldn’t worry about it.

  • Eddard

    They need to play hardball. Who is going to swoop in and outbid the Yankees? Sox don’t need a 2B, Dodgers say they aren’t going after him. What they can’t do is bid against themselves like they did with Alex. The Cardinals have shown that you don’t need to pay a 30+ year old $250 million over 10 years. Just let him walk and use the money more wisely elsewhere.

    • lightSABR

      The Cards had a farm system and we don’t, it’s not clear there is any set of free agents available at any price who will make up for the production we’d lose from Cano, etc., etc., etc.

      I like the Yankees’ current bargaining strategy as much as the next guy, but we shouldn’t downplay what letting Robbie walk means: it means we will not contend next year.

      • Havok9120

        Or at least we’d need the same kind of luck we got this year to do so.

        As the O’s discovered this season, that kind of luck doesn’t generally happen two years running.

        • lightSABR

          Right. I think it’s easy to look at our 85-win season and think we’re just two or three improvements from contention.

          In reality, our performance last year actually earned us something between 71 and 79 wins, depending on which performance-based record predictor you look at (see http://www.baseballprospectus.com/standings/). We need to add at least 15 WAR this offseason even with Robbie, even with Sabathia not being so awful, even with Teix not hurt. Lose Robbie and we have no prayer.

          • Pat D

            OK, this is an issue I have when people cite WAR.

            WAR =/= wins on the field.

            Adding 15 WAR isn’t going to add 15 wins to the bottom line. You can’t say exactly how many wins would be added.

            • Wicomico Pinstripes

              I think he was giving an estimate on just how much talent the FO needs to add while illustrating how bad the team was in certain areas this past year.

            • Havok9120

              True, of course, but it’s also the best tool which currently exists for the purpose of discussing probable wins added by a signing.

              Most every serious commenter on here is aware of the flaws in WAR at this point. God knows Mike (rightfully) reminds us often enough, and we have last season to illustrate the point.

          • Wicomico Pinstripes

            “We need to add at least 15 WAR this offseason…”

            Correct. Some fans tend to forget that we did not have the talent of an 85 win team. 15 WAR is a lot to come by in a single offseason though. I’m not sure it’s quite doable. And while I do expect Sabathia and Teixeira to have somewhat of a return to form the FO can’t do the same. They need to operate as if 2013 C.C. is who we will most likely see for the duration of his contract.

            • Mr. Roth

              It doesn’t make much sense to use projected wins to measure the 2013 Yankees performance when the actual results are available. Projections are meant to be used to predict actual results, not to be used in place of them.

              • Wicomico Pinstripes

                The 2012 SFG probably thought the same thing. They won six more games than they were projected to win. Same as the 2013 NYY. They decided to mostly stand pat and had a noticeable decline in team performance.

                I know you aren’t suggesting the NYY stand pat, I’m just saying some teams perform better than their talent level would suggest and that should be taken into consideration by the FO in the offseason.

                • lightSABR

                  The Giants are a good example. The Orioles are another. In 2012, they made the playoffs by winning an amazing 11 games more than their run totals would predict. With 712 runs scored an 705 against, you’d expect them to win 82 games. In fact they won 93.

                  In 2013, their runs scored and runs against predicted that they’d win 85 games, and they won… 85 games. They tied (with us) for third in the division and did not make the playoffs.

                  If the front office thinks the team’s record last year is a better predictor of its future success than its actual offensive and defensive performance, they should be fired. Fortunately, Cashman realizes that. “If you think like a fan…”

                  • Mr. Roth

                    The 2011 SF Giants won 6 more games than their pythagorean record said they should. Then the next year in 2012 they won….6 more games than their pythagorean record again. Then the next year they won 2 more games than their pythagorean.

                    My point is that sometimes, Runs Scored^1.83 / (Runs scored^1.83 + Runs Allowed^1.83) doesn’t tell the story exactly as it is written.

              • lightSABR

                It makes perfect sense, because I don’t care anymore how many games we won last year. I care how many games we would win next year with the same team, and the likely answer is between 71 and 79.

          • Mr. Roth

            “In reality, our performance last year actually earned us something between 71 and 79 wins”

            In reality, our performance earned us 85 wins.

    • OldYanksFan

      Is there a $250m 2nd baseman on the market?
      Robbie ain’t getting more than $180m.

  • jsbrendog

    when is that picture from? jay z looks weird with hair… is this old?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Jay Z’s old.

      40’s the new….

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Also, welcome back, brendog. Quit leaving.

      • Havok9120

        No joke.

      • MannyGeee

        THIS. Levelheadedness is at an all time low round these parts.

        • jsbrendog

          aww you guys sure know how to make a fella welcome. thanks. seriously. not being my usual sarcastic ass.

          but, this. can you blame me for going on self imposed hiatii (no i did not misspell haiti.)

          • jjyank

            Hey man, I had quite the hiatus myself, I totally get it. But still, welcome back dude.

  • Dr. TJ Eckelberg

    Why is Cano wearing a Cav’s shirt?

    • I’m One

      Because he can make a Cav’s short more famous … ? OK, forget it. :-)

      • lightSABR

        Nice.

      • I’m One

        *shirt

    • Josh

      believe this is from the last season when Lebron was still in Cleveland…

    • Bavarian Yankee

      because he’ll sign with Cleveland :D

      • MannyGeee

        I was gonna say he bought it in the Airport after meeting with the Tribe. Well done

  • http://OutsideTheBox Rocky

    I have been a Yankee fan for 53 years and I have seen a lot of great ballplayers. But, I have also seen a really bad trend on the Yankees part to overpay their players and base their free agent decisions on what a ballplayer does in his contract year. Cano is an outstanding player, but I would not sign any player for over 5 years, no matter how good he is, unless the contract was performance based and with an out clause. History proves that yesterday’s performance is not a guarantee on future performance. $310 million dollars on an 8-10 year contract is a joke, and a really bad one at that. Any team who bites at that or anything close to that deserves what they will get. We all thought that a A-Rod would bring many World Championships to the Yankees. Look what happened. When you consider slumps, injuries, attitude, (possible drugs), and other intangibles, it is an extremely high risk. If Cano wants to walk for more money, I would hold the door open for him. Then, I’d take the money saved and spend it on 3 really good, consistent players that were not superstars. That would fill 3 major needs instead of just 1. That is how their bitter rivals, the Red Sox went from last, to World Champions. They signed really good players, but not superstars. If Cano bats .300 each year, then he still makes an out 7 out of 10 times up. Try those odds in Vegas! You’ll lose your shirt, the way the Yankees did with A-Rod. For every homerun that Cano hits to win a game, how many will he lose by making an out?
    I think that what the Yankees offered him is well worth what he will deliver.

    • Mr. Pappageorgio

      Everyone keeps talking like the Red Sox discovered some secret formula for an off-season. They had everything break their way. Some of their risk/reward players could have gone either way. They hit pay-dirt purely by chance with Uehara. Granted, they did a good job of putting a ball club together, but it helps when just about everything goes right and guys stay healthy all year (for the most part).

  • Dan

    ESPNNY is reporting the Yanks have a hard time limit on the Cano offer. Any guesses on what that might be? My money is the day before the winter meetings.

  • Kiko Jones

    The sad thing is that a large chunk, if not most, of the folks who clamor for a hometown discount and/or now think of Canó as a greedy bastard, would leave their current jobs IN A HEARTBEAT for one that paid a couple of hundred bucks a week more, yet have the balls to rag on this guy. These are the same people who demand player loyalty but have no qualms when teams adopt the “what have you done for me lately?” approach and kick a player to the curb. David Freese was the 2011 WS MVP, had a solid year in 2012, and after a mediocre 2013 got sent to Anaheim. You think players are oblivious to that and don’t take notes when it comes time to be free agents? I guess loyalty is only a one-way street, huh?

    • jjyank

      Agreed. Discussions on an internet forum can too easily become hypothetical fantasy dreams played out in a vacuum. It’s important to stick to situations that can happen in the real world. Guys seeking the best available payday is hardly irrational, and something that the vast majority of people do in every day life.

    • Havok9120

      Very well said.

      Especially when one takes into account the fact that it is incredibly unlikely that anyone else in, or even seriously connected to, his family will ever have a chance at this kind of payday ever again. We’re talking the kind of money that can ensure your grandkids grandkids never want for anything if it’s spent/invested wisely.

      You’d be a moron not to get whatever you can in this scenario.

      • jjyank

        Of course. This is once in a generation, maybe even more, type of opportunity for Cano and his family. Who the hell are we to say he should take less money on purpose?

        • Havok9120

          Way more. My family has been chilling in the United States for 90 years now, building our own businesses and generally being highly productive members of society, and none of us have had a chance to earn tens and hundreds of millions of dollars. Let alone both in a 10 year period.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Beautifully said.

    • MannyGeee

      Nailed it.

    • Darren

      100% agree. I think the reason is that most people have no desire to relate to stars/celebrities of any sort. They’d rather look at a Cano as antirely different animal with different desires, feelings, and faults than a regular person. It’s way easier to talk shit about a guy when you’re drinking a beer in a bar (or on the net) if you can pretend he’s not a real person.

  • Tom

    I think one more big name (or at least mid level) FA signing in the near term by the Yankees and the pressure really shifts to Cano. At that point the Yankees likely have space for one last big FA and they can continue talking in the press about 189mil goal and the impact of the uncertainty of ARod’s suspension length on their budget plans.

    I think Cano’s best bet, unless he is really ready to walk, is to quickly drop # to ~8/200ish and leak it prior to meeting with the Yankees (real or not the 10/300+mil # is sticking to him) and then split the difference between 7/165 and ~8/200 (maybe 7/175 or 8//185-190).

    • Havok9120

      Yeah, if they get Beltran or Kuroda locked up in the next week or so, it’ll be a pretty big prod to Cano’s camp, at least if they’re being realistic.

  • Kiko Jones

    NO ONE is worth $300m and Canó not being a dummy—as well as someone who’s been around pro baseball all his life—knows this. I believe his camp threw out a big number to ensure he didn’t get low balled; just a negotiating tactic, nothing more. That doesn’t mean he will or won’t sign with the Yankees, but I sincerely hope both sides can agree on a number and have him back in pinstripes next year.

    • Havok9120

      Not to mention that, as far as I’ve read, that number has not been reiterated in negotiations since he hit FA. It was put out there as “want to lock me up before I hit the market? Pay up.”

  • Captain Turbo

    This is exactly how the Yankees have to play it from now on. Give the FA a reasonable amount of time to sign a fair deal and move on quickly if they don’t. I hate to see Cano leave but if he doesn’t realize that 7 years is probably the most he’ll get anywhere, move on.

  • mike

    Or maybe he will call Hank, whine about JayZ, dump him as an agent, ramble on about wanting to be a Yankee for life, and get a better deal after everyone thinks the ship sailed..

    where have we heard this before???