Pondering the Robinson Cano fiasco

It's official: Kuroda's back
It's official: Ellsbury's a Yankee
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
(AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

I couldn’t help but laugh at the Mariners after their ten-year, $240M offer to Robinson Cano.  That’s such an obscene amount of money for a guy already in his thirties – granted, he is the best at what he does and is arguably one of the top five players currently playing in the game.  Plus, according to pundits, the Mariners organization felt that it was necessary to make a huge splash this offseason as their team has been idling in irrelevancy for several years now.  Well, they certainly accomplished their goal of making a big splash.

Still, I can’t help but wonder whether the Mariners overestimated what would it would take to sign Cano.  If the best Yankees offer was locked in at $175M as it evidently was — not to mention the fact that Cano was apparently feeling a bit snubbed due the team taking a hard stance with him after the Jacoby Ellsbury signing– I wonder if the Mariners could have stood their ground with a $200M deal and overcome whatever shortcomings their location presumably has.  After all, that’d still be a $25M dollar difference between their offer and that of New York’s.  Maybe Cano prefers playing in NY so much that he is willing to dismiss twenty-five million reasons not to go to Seattle.  Then again, that’s a lot of money so maybe he wouldn’t have been able to resist.

In any event, if the Mariners honestly got the vibe that $200M wouldn’t get it done for them, they probably could have upped the ante to $225 and locked in there.  By that point, there’d be a $50M gap between them and New York, assuming the Yanks didn’t change their mind and offer more which it seems like they were unwilling to do.  I’m not sure how many folks would be able to turn down an offer that was that much more lucrative than another.  The Yanks did Seattle a huge favor by stalling out around $175M and never really giving a super strong impression to Cano’s camp that they’d be willing to bridge the gap between what they were offering and what Cano was asking for.  Maybe it’s an incorrect impression, but it never appeared as though the Mariners were willing to let Cano consider just how much better their initial offer already was to NY’s.  It was as if their great offer was immediately not good enough despite the fact that there wasn’t another offer even remotely close.  If $50M additional dollars doesn’t blow Cano away, maybe that would have been a strong indication that the cost isn’t worth the reward.

Instead, Seattle basically caved in overnight from what was already an excellent offer, and was content to bid against themselves even further. The Mariners increased their offer to ten years, $240M.  Well, congrats, to them.  They obtained Robbie’s services by outbidding the next highest bid by $65M!  Not only does this strike me as a severe overpay, but it was probably an unnecessary one.  Regardless of how Cano’s camp values his abilities, the fact is, at the end of the day he’s only worth as much as teams are willing to pay.  Hypothetically, if the Mariners offered nine years, $225M, they’d still be showing a really strong interest him.  They’d still be blowing New York’s offer out of the water, and I imagine they’d still have a strong chance of winning the bidding with a $50M dollar difference.

To Seattle’s credit, they now employ the best free agent available.  The problem for them now is that their team, as it currently stands, still stinks.  Even if Cano adds ten wins to their record single handedly, which is a stretch of the imagination, I don’t think that’s enough to make them a contender.  They still have a lot of work to do to become relevant again, especially if they want to try and compete during Cano’s prime years.  Along the same lines, as much as I would have loved to see Cano in pinstripes for the remainder of his career, I don’t regret for a second the Yankees not making a counter offer that extreme.  Letting him go was a no brainer at that point.

It's official: Kuroda's back
It's official: Ellsbury's a Yankee
  • Darren

    You have it backwards. The fiasco is the fact that the Yankees let Cano get away without a fight. Blame Cashman’s ego, once again, for doing the wrong thing for the team. The guy is unbelievable.

    Seattle did a masterful job. They targeted the best free agent on the market and they got him. $25mm or even $50mm means absolutely nothing for a Major League franchise over the course of ten years.

    The Yankees, on the other hand, look horrible. This was unprecedented. If you’re gonna pay $180mm, what is another $40mm over ten years? Nothing. And yet they didn’t even raise their offer above $175. I mean, why bother?

    This reminded me one of the food auctions on “Survivor” where some dingbat is always left with $500 at the close of the auction because they were too timid to buy the cheesburger for $300. Well, the Yankees weren’t too timid to buy; they just bought the wrong item. Now they have a spoiled sea urchin and some rotten duck fetus Beltran instead of a juicy steak.

    • Mearl

      Love the Survivor reference.

    • pat

      I’d rather fill three spots for the same amount.

      • pat

        Or, to use #FoodReferences, I’d rather have two Angus cheeseburgers and a chocolate thickshake than a filet mignon.

      • jim p

        Plus better payroll flexibility down the road.

    • ropeadope

      This was unprecedented.

      Yes, and I like the new precedent it does set. Players and agents are now on notice the organization will no longer go to infinite lengths to retain (or sign) personnel.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Bidding $65M over the next highest offer is doing a masterful job?

      Are you applying to be GM of the Yankees?

      If it’s such an obviously correct deal, why didn’t any other team come remotely close?

      Is Seattle suddenly the smartest franchise in baseball?

      • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

        #6org, good enough.

    • Betty Lizard

      $25mm or even $50mm means absolutely nothing for a Major League franchise over the course of ten years

      Gee, how I wish I’d had that on autofill for the thousand comments I’ve read complaining about the Alex Rodriguez contract.

      Seven years for $175 is not a “slipped away” situation. Cano got butt hurt because the Yankees dared to sign another player. ANY player who gets upset because another player is paid more is destined for an unhappy career.

      If Cano didn’t check back with New York, that’s on him, not the Yankees. Cano got what he wanted; Seattle got what they wanted; the Yankees didn’t get what they wanted. That’s how it goes when you have one prize and two suitors.

      • Darren

        Haha, you don’t think EVERY single player cares about how much the next guy is making? You think Cano got “butthurt” (one of the dumbest expressions ever, by the way) and that’s why he signed? Ridiculous.

        • CS Yankee

          It might be why his camp didn’t call as they felt slighted…who knows but here is what most (myself included) believe;
          1) Arod & Albert were far better players who aren’t coming close to adding up to their contracts.
          2) Cano was much better than any other player available this year but made it public he wanted 10 years and every red penny.
          3) NYY proceeded time fill up on the best and most singable players…McCann is a very fair signing, Ellsbury not so much however 7/153 needs about a 4 fWAR average & a 10/240 needs about a 6 fWAR average…neither will likely live up to that so you should keep the extra hundred-mil in the wallet and continue shopping.
          4) They have improved their team this offseason from 2013’s season & have likely put off the 189 crap which is good for us fans. Is this comparable to 2008’s improvement, Yes! However this needs more fixing than 2008’s did.
          5) Garza, Ulbaldo or Tanaka are still much needed with maybe an elite closer but I’ll bet they’ll get that taken care of before Christmas.

          • cashjr

            6) The Yanks totally dissed him by getting the best possible free agent to get on base ahead of him so he can see tons of fastballs and have more guys in scoring position.
            7) And if that wasn’t bad enough, they really went after him by getting another potential big bat to protect him while he’s up.
            8) Hope the yanks have learned never to try and make a player, and also the team, better again.

            • whatthehellisansky


      • CS Yankee

        Well put

    • Bart

      Thank You Hal for not giving out another 10 yr deal!!

      Cano got his money, and will be forgotten period.

    • Steve (different one)

      There is no way Cashman has the authority to sign $240M contracts.

      This was an organizational decision, and I am not saying this to exonerate Cashman, because I think it was probably the right decision. 10 years is just too far.

      Now, if you tell me that had the Yanks gone to $200M/8 Cano would have signed, I will probably change my mind.

      But I have no reason to think that would be the case. Why would Cano just leave $40M on the table? And then do the mariners go to $250m?

    • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

      Darren, you’re morphing into Eddard before our eyes. Please stop.

    • Johnny Ace

      You’re just plain bat-shit crazy on that. The Yankees only need wasn’t to resign Cano, it was not a situation of sign at all costs. Put it this way, the extra $65 million per year will cover some of the Yankees’ needs and fill the bench. Last time I looked, baseball was a 9 player game.

      • thurman murcer

        Thank you

    • MikeB.

      What, no sea turtle embryo?

    • TWTR

      I am no fan if Cashman, but owners, bit GMs, make big big money decisions.

    • Kay

      So you would have given Cano a ten year contract?. Stupidity at its finest

    • Mark

      Come on Darren! Any team would be foolish to sign a 10 yr deal with any player these days. Now all of their money is tied up in two players. Latin American players love the money and Robbie just wanted to stick it up the Yanks butts after he was snubbed. His father was also in his ear telling him to take the money & run. Well Robbie…you got all the money you need now. Problem is that you won’t be going to the playoffs anytime soon and that will get old very quickly. Soon to be forgotten in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Mearl

    The big question is if Cano had accepted the 7 year $175 deal how much would the Yankees have paid him in the following three years. By that time he would have been THE Yankee star and we see how much they continue to pay a well-past prime Jeter. Now I get that Cano would likely never have the Jeter-esque unconditional love and fanfare, but I still think they would have continued to pay Cano once this deal ended, pending a complete fall-off or injury. Seeing what they pay Jeter and keeping market increases though the next 7 years in mind I don’t think it is out of the picture they would pay him about 15 million a year for the 3 years the Mariners covered that the Yankees would not… Add those in and the Mariners really only topped the Yankees by 20 million (well unless you count the tax that he wont be paying in Washington).

    As much as we tell ourselves how bad of a contract it is for the Mariners to make ourselves feel better, I’d much rather overpay Cano and retain him (I don’t think the Yankees needed to actually top the Mariner’s to retain Cano), especially since they agreed to sign, and overpay for, Ellsbury. Ellsbury and Beltran OR Cano plus a few extra millions, I’d take Cano

  • jim p

    Without a State Tax, getting about 12M/yr for home games to keep as opposed to …what?… probably 30-50% taken in NYS, Cano’s pulling an extra $6-$8M per year into his pocket.

    What Seattle offered means they were saying ‘here’s $125-150M that’s all yours.’

    Back of the envelope stuff, and I’m sure there’s higher Federal Tax w/o a State Tax to write off, and there’s the tax rates of the West Division States vs East to consider, but I’m sure it’s an awful lot more than the nominal $65M which went into the calculations.

    • Brandon W

      Your back of the envelope math is, uhh, pretty wrong. State tax is nowhere near 30-50%. It’ll come up in that range when you factor in federal tax, but he still pays that in Seattle.

      A quick Google search shows the marginal tax rate at $500k+ for 2013 to be 8.97% in NY. So, about 1 mil/yr to use some envelope math.

    • nyyankfan7

      God I hope you are not an accountant or giving tax advice to anyone you know…..

      No state, not even uber-liberal California, takes 30 -50%. New York’s tax rate is just under 9%. Just assuming he has to include half of his income ( which I doubt he does b/c as his accountant I would argue he is getting paid in Florida for Spring Training which has no income tax and for the offseason to keep in baseball shape in wherever he claims residency) on 24 million he would owe New York roughly 2.1 million and another $700k to NYC. Yes your point is still correct – it is a great savings, but a far cry from 6 – 8 million.

      • jim p

        So, there’s $3M a year over ten years. Plus, more games in Texas (two teams, no state tax, iirc), so the deal is easily worth another $100M which he wouldn’t get in his pocket if he signed in NY.

    • MikeB.

      No state tax there?

  • RetroRob

    The reason is simple, if expensive. They wanted Cano and needed to blow the Yankees offer out of the water. A $225M offer could have left the door open for the Yankees to increase their offer to 8 years and $200M. That’s still less, but it might be enough to close the deal. $25M over 8, 9, 10 years, whatever, may have been enough to pass on. $65M and a chance to be paid until he was 40 years old? Deal sealed and he’s a Mariner.

    The Yankees made the right choice. And perhaps this will all pay off for the Mariners in the end. I suspect not, though, and in about four years the Mariners will be dreading this contract.

    • Now Batting

      In hindsight it would have been worth offering 8/$200 million take it or leave it before the Seattle offer came in.

  • Jersey Joe

    What makes me sad:

    1. Cano will be a Mariner longer than a Yankee.

    2. Cano will not be able to be the best Yankee 2B in history. Tony Lazzeri was good enough, but he was overshadowed. Willie Randolph was on the team for twelve years, but he just wasn’t that good. Joe Gordon won an MVP, but that was during WWII; he was only on the team for seven years.

    All of these players had cases as best ever 2B, but Cano could have really solidified his place as an all-time great. I wish I could’ve seen it.

    • vin

      1) Meh, he’ll be back as a salary dump in 2021.
      2) Don’t be hatin’ on Willie…
      He had an incredibly underrated career.

      • Kosmo

        Randolph like Lou Whitaker get no love. Willie posted a career 65.6WAR. I watched Randolph for many years from the time he was a rookie in 1976 til he retired. One of Steinbrenner`s mistakes was letting Willie walk away .

        • Darren

          Totally agreed. Randolph was a great second baseman, or at the very least, very very good. A really good valuable player, and co-captain of the Yankees for a reason. He was a good hitter too, not some light hitting nobody. To say that Randolph wasn’t that good is wildly innacurate.

          • Jersey Joe

            I definitely misspoke, but he is likely behind Gordon and Lazzeri. He just wasn’t as good as those two; still pretty good.

    • RetroRob

      Regarding point 1, I think there is little chance he plays ten years in Seattle. Less than 5%.

      Point 2, he might already be the best since we had him for his best seasons (or most of them), all his youth and peak and no decline, yet you’re correct in that others can make a claim since they were there longer.

      He doesn’t get to retire and go in to the HOF (if he makes it) as a Yankee. He may very well have a Yankee cap on his plaque, but the Yankees will never recognize him in Monument Park, or with a day. I doubt they’ll even send someone to the ceremony! And as I noted the other day, they shouldn’t. Not to be mean, but they sell their history and legacy. If a player walks away from it as Cano did, then that is fine, but he doesn’t get it back in the future.

      Cano should be dead to the Yankees from a legacy point of view.

      • Jersey Joe

        Well he will probably be on other teams longer than he was on the Yankees.

  • Gonzo

    It could always be worse. Imagine if Montero turned into a monster bat and people were touting the Montero-Cano bats as one of the best tandems in the game.

    • Jersey Joe

      Dude. Woah.

    • Steve (different one)

      It’s not too late for this to happen. It won’t be as a catcher though.

    • vin

      I always think back to this post I made back in 2010…

      I was trying to temper expectations by comparing Montero to Napoli (when he was an Angel, before he became a 16mil/year player). People thought I was nuts because Montero was going to be so awesome and Napoli is “okay.” Funny how that all worked out. Or sad maybe.

  • http://Www.aol.com Pete

    Darren, I don’t know how you could justify the Yankees paying 220-240 mm. One, the Yankees offered 175. There was no reason to counter-offer as they would have just been bidding against themeselves. Second, it doesn’t appear the Yankees were even given a chance to counter offer Seattle’s offer. Cashman made it clear that he hoped Cano’s camp would give him a chance to match any other offer. Cano refused and impulsively signed with Seattle. He followed the cash and I guess we can’t blame him. Good luck and good riddons Cano.

    • Darren

      Well, obviously they weren’t bidding against themselves, were they? They didn’t make a good faith offer and they got burned. I know that $175mm sounds like a good faith offer, but it’s not. Not if you know another team is gonna go FAR above $200mm. It was basically a big F you to Robinson. If they had offered $210mm and never given a chance to match Seattle, ok, fine, you can just say Cano took the money and was impulsive. But if they don’t even come close, why should he give them a chance to match, and possibly let Seattle get cold feet? That’s not how these things work.

      • Steve (different one)

        You aren’t really making sense in this universe where time unfolds linearly. At the time the Yankees made their offer, they did not know the mariners would make their $240M offer.

        But that’s ok. As a Yankee fan, this DOES suck. Pretending it doesn’t is silly, so I respect the emotions here.

        But it can suck and still be the right decision in the long run.

        • Darren

          Huh? If ESPN knew, you don’t think the Yannkees knew? The $220 – $240mm numbers were being floated and the Yankees still didn’t make an offer. And once they gave Ellsbury the $169mm, they KNEW it would take more than $200mm to sign Cano and they didn’t budge. They inflated the market on their own and then pretended it didn’t happen!

          It’s not about emotion, I think it was a horrible financial decision and bad for the franchise. They should have offered $220mm.

          • steve (different one)

            The Yankees made their offer weeks ago. They did not want to increase it, rightfully so, until another team made an offer. This is common sense.

            On Thursday, there was a rumor that the Mariners offered $225M/9. I assume this is what you are referring to. But then later, remember, it was reported that this was NOT the Mariners offer, it was what Cano was ASKING and that the Mariners had not offered more than $200M.

            So, still no other offer the Yankees could probably not top.

            Then, the next morning, talks “broke off” b/c Jay Z asked for 10 years. A few hours later, it was done, and by your own admission the Yankees did not get a chance to counter.

            From the very beginning we heard Cano wanted 10 years. First it was $305M/10, then it was $250M/10. When he got close to that, he jumped. Simple as that. The Yankees may have gone to 8 years, but they weren’t going to 10, and I think that was the right decision.

            I am very disappointed with the way it went down, but 10 years to a 31 year old is too long. It just is.

            And I don’t really see if the Yankees came back with $210M/8, why the Mariners wouldn’t have gone to $250M/10. I also don’t see why Cano would have settled for $210M/8.

            • Darren

              The Yankees didn’t have to go to 10 years, Cano’s team said the Yankees coukld choose 8, 9, or 10 years, as long as the money was similar.

              Simpler fact is that the Yankees blew away McCann and blew away Ellsbury but with Cano they lowballed him. That doesn’t seem totally strange?

      • CS Yankee

        You have no logic as the Yankees have no crystal ball.

        How the flying-F would they know what was really offered or why should they care? They ran the numbers, made it really tough for someone else to exceed it & since that some one was Siberia, they needed a shit-ton more to get it done.

        Put the shoe on the other foot…play where everyone one else wants to play and have a career that spans over 15 years while making almost 250M$ (made almost 60 to date) or play 18 years, with 10 of those in a wet city that travels more than any other team and likely never sniff postseason play while netting about the same amount for 70% of the time? Hmmm?

        • Darren

          Are you seriously asking why they should care what someone else offered? That doesn’t make one iota of sense. It’s not like $175mm was precise number of value, it’s just a number they came up with that they thought was fair. Once they found out it wasn;t coming close to getting it done, they could have (and should have) revised it upward.

          As far as whether Cano made the right decision, not one of us on this board can even come close to knowing how he feels. I’d rather make $175 thousand per year and live in NYC than $250k nd live in Seattle, but I grew up here and wouldn’t want to leave. Maybe Robbie feels differently. Maybe he likes salmon. Maybe he’s a huge fan of Frasier. Maybe he was bullied by Mick Kelleher, I don’t know.

          • steve (different one)

            Considering $175M/7 is a HIGHER AAV than what Cano actually signed for and it would have kept him in pinstripes until he was 38, it is hard to argue that the Yankees offer was not in good faith.

            • Darren

              AAV doesn’t have anything to do with it, not when the totak value falls short by $60mm. And it might have been made in good faith a week ago, but once they signed Ellsbury for $169mm, it was no longer reasonable to ask Cano to sign for $175mm. Basically, as soon as they signed Ellsbury, if they were serious about Cano, they would’ve upped their offer to $200mm, REGARDLESS of what any other team was doing. It’s fine that they weren’t serious (no it’s not) but let’s not pretend that they were in it at the end. They were more like the Mets, all posturing for PR (seems like it’s working considering the comments here), with no real desire to sign the player. Again, fine (not reallY), but let’s be realistic at least.

              • Steve (different one)

                You keep saying $169M for Ellsbury, but it’s $153M guaranteed.

                In other words they offered Cano $3.1M more per year, but this was an insult?

              • Need Pitching & Hitting

                They didn’t sign Ellsbury for $169M. They signed him for $153M guaranteed.
                Not to let facts get in the way of your argument.
                And apparently, Cano’s side gave the Yankees a take it or leave it offer of $235M, so increasing their offer to $200M (if they didn’t anyways), wouldn’t have mattered.

                They offered Cano a contract higher than any other free agent will get this year. That entirely indicates a serious desire to sign him.
                That Seattle got desperate and made a ridiculous offer doesn’t change that fact.

              • Johnny Ace

                Stop focusing on the contract value – it’s the years that are the issue, Darren. The Yankees wish now they had never gone long with Arod, so they weren’t going to go that long with Cano. They went as long as they felt comfortable with, and there’s nothing to suggest that initial offer wasn’t in good faith. And since it was Cano who initially want 10/$305, then $250/10, it’s pretty clear Cano was probably willing to take less money if he could get the contract length. And with the Pujols albatross floating around, there’s a lot to be said that 10 is too long. And when you speak about dealing in good faith, why wouldn’t Cano at least give the Yankees a chance to match? It can be said Cano didn’t deal in good faith.

                • RetroRob

                  Don’t bother. His understanding is limited.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

        It was 25M AAV, higher than what he signed for. The 8/200 some of us were talking about was just tacking on an extra year. Are you kidding me?

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    I admit this is just speculation, but my feeling that the jump from $225 to $240 was this:

    I believe as many do that Yankees were ultimately going to have a drop-dead point at 8/200.

    Cano’s Camp and Seattle went to bed Thursday night at 9/225 with Cano leaving Seattle, considering then going to Orlando for Winter Meetings.

    Friday morning, Cano and Seattle met before they left town, they went 10/240 because they didn’t want to let him leave town to shop for other offers and probably played it like “if you leave town, 10/240 is off the table.” They got their 10 years, they matched Pujols offer and that was that.

    Pure speculation, yes. But it fits the timeline and because all that is out there “IS” speculation, I’m going with my perception.

    • CS Yankee

      Decent thought process…

      …my has Jay-Z going to dinner with Robbie all happy about 9/225 & Robbie saying “I don’t want Seattle & NY’s numbers are 25 per”… jay-Z then almost blows the deal by 10/252 crap, explosion by Seattle, Jack Z compromises with the other Z & they end up on Albert’s door of contract respect as everyone in life knows that Albert was a superior talent & a recent deal to comp.

    • pinch hitter

      Yup. Also exactly how Yankees went 153 on Ellsbury. 6/120 was what other teams were hinting and would have just prolonged bidding, 7/140 is what Ellsbury wanted, 7/153 was what it took to get it done now, today, which the Yanks wanted to do rather than draw the process out.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

      He can hit cleanup and be sandwiched by nobody now.

  • gargoyle

    Fiasco? I’m breathing a sigh of relief.

  • Guns

    Not sure if anyone’s seen this, but George King of The Post writes that Cano didn’t like playing for Girardi. Cano wanted to bat in the middle of the order to increase his value and the Yankees wanted to bat him 2nd. Not sure how much stock anyone puts into this, if any, but I thought it would be appropriate to post.


    • Get Phelps Up (looking for a new name)

      I would be pretty disappointed if that was true.

    • Steve (different one)

      Silly Girardi, trying to make sure the ONLY real hitter he has gets more ABs…

    • Fin

      Sounds hard to believe. Unless we hear from multiple sources, I’m gona take this with a grain of salt. I think that Cano wanted every penny he could get and it was clear that wasn’t going to come from the Yankees. He was willing to take it from whoever gave it to him.

      If that is true. It reflects very negatively on Cano. Hell maybe its for reasons like this, his connection to Melky/Arod and Cano’s assistant happening to buy wieghtloss shit from Biogenisis, that the Yankees weren’t willing to go all out to retain him.

      I think its all smoke and mirrors though. I think the Yankees and most teams are probably done giving out 10 year deals to 30yr old players. The history is just too Gruesome. There may always be a desperate team like the M’s that do it, but it doesn’t look like the Yankees will be one.

      • steve (different one)

        If that is true. It reflects very negatively on Cano.

        How many people in the world would walk away from $65M?

        • Jersey Joe

          Not True Yankees. That’s who.

        • Fin

          I wasn’t talking about that. I was talking about him not wanting to play for Girardi because of wanting to hit in the middle of the order for better stats.

          • Steve (different one)

            My bad. Agreed.

          • RetroRob

            The story is no doubt true in the sense that I’m sure it didn’t make Cano happy. Yet the reason he left was for the $65 million. Let that number sink in. No one is turning that down, and the Yankees smartly did not match it for 10 years.

            If Cano really wanted to play for the Yankees, he would have had his agent call them before he signed to see what their final offer was. He didn’t. Says it all.

    • MikeB.

      I wondered about the Girardi-Cano professional relationship. I’m not knocking Joe at all, but could it be that a number of players have left the team over the last few years because they did not like something about Joe? Of course it could be they left for a thousand other reasons, too.

  • PunkPitch

    I have been a Yankee fan for a lo longer than most who post here. In all my years watching, rarely have I seen a player lost via free agency worth thinking twice about. This is the exception. We all need time to recover, and if we’re lucky a winning team will go a long way to that end. Go Cash!

  • ropeadope

    Matt Warden is BACK!

  • Wheels

    How many yachts can you water-ski behind, Robbie? How much is enough?

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan

      Good one!

    • Carl Carlson

      How many ivory back scratchers do you need?

  • Hardcore Yankee Fan

    We can only speculate, but when it’s all said and done years from now:

    1) I don’t think the Yankees or their fans will regret this decision (and they don’t seem to at all now anyhow with the exception of a fringe base of the fans)

    2) I think Robinson Cano will severely regret having let an immortal legacy in being a Yankee lifetime great slip through his fingers. The only exception would be if the Mariners win multiple championships.

    3) I think the Mariners will regret this contract. He’s not worth the money and he’ll just begin to decline soon enough from these levels (which are not THAT special to begin with).

    • RetroRob

      I agree strongly with points two and three.

      Point one is a little more complicated. I think fans will always wish Cano stayed as he was a home-grown Yankee and a possible HOFer. It’s similar to Pujols and the Cardinals. On one level the fans are happy that they didn’t lock into Pujols, yet they still wish he was with the team, even for his decline years, yet they understand the team made the best move. That will ultimately be how Yankee fans feel.

  • 42isNotMortal

    If he lacked enthusiasm in NY, how will a stadium full of stoned laid back fans keep him engaged. I can imagine a scenario where the M’s are 43-51 in July and Cano nods off at 2nd base in-between pitches.

    • Kosmo

      At this time the Mariners have no OFers to speak of, Smoak at 1B, no DH , 2 inexperienced players in Miller and Zunino a good 3B and Cano. Besides K.Felix and Iwakuma big ? in the rotation and a shakey bullpen. Unless they break the bank to overpay to lure FA to Seattle this 10 year deal will begin to haunt them in about 3 years.

    • MikeB.

      You might be on to something….

  • SDB


    The Yankees showed some fiscal discipline. They decided not to let a single player dictate terms, and made it clear that they’re building a team, not a franchise based around one primadonna.

    Some of us bitched non-stop about this when A-Rod was signed by the Steinbrenners in 2007. We’re still moaning about that contract and its implications for the team.

    The Yankees just showed us they’ve learned from old mistakes. Well done them.

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

    What’s bizarre to me is how people are commenting as if they know as fact:

    1) whether JZ went back to the Yanks with *either* 9/225 or 10/240
    2) whether or how the yanks countered

    I submit that whether through the side door or front, the Yanks probably let it be known that they’d get to 8/200 in competitive bidding. That probably prompted the 10/252 counter by JZ to the 9/225 offer. It had to be “more better” than the 1/25 difference between the Yanks 8/200 and the M’s 9/225.

    Obviously speculation. And obviously in the end 10/240 did if for the M’s and the Yanks rightly passed.

    • vicki

      fair speculation. no way they give ells 7/153 then refuse to budge from 7/175 for robbie.

      i suspect testosterone was more than a small factor in this story.

      unless the yankees know something we don’t know…..

  • idontlikemattwarden

    Aw man, you’re back? I guess my Christmas wish isn’t going to come true.

    Bah Humbug.

    • http://RiverAveBlues.com Matt Warden

      Do what I can, IDLMW…

  • LarryM Fl

    I applaud the Yankees for their stance with Robbie Cano who was the best FA available this off season. Robbie would have been an important piece for the Yankee team for the next 6 or 7 years. He would have filled the DH position in his later stages of his career. There was a place for him. But the Yankees offered more dollars per year than Seattle which attested to their desire to keep him. Only Mariners desperation caused the defection of Robbie Cano. But its much more important to build a solid roster than have one superstar surrounded by a weak roster. Robbie will find this out. In fact with no protection in the lineup his numbers will surely fall and the nightmare will come to life for Robbie.

    Jeter, Teix., McCann, Beltran, Soriano, Ellsbury, Gardner are some very decent players to build a lineup around. Now fill in the pieces remaing and the puzzle will be sovled.

  • Jake

    I don’t understand two things:

    1. Why the Yankees valued Cano and Ellsbury equally. Cano is better, more durable and wouldn’t have cost a draft pick to sign.
    2. Why the Yankees were unwilling to pay for Cano’s 37-40 years, but paid only for Beltran’s 37-40 years, without the benefit of his prime.

    I feel like most of the Yankees moves this offseason can be justified in isolation. But taken together they make no sense to me.

    • Steve (different one)

      1. Because they didn’t. Cano was offered more than $3M per year than Ellsbury. This is a lot of money, no? Also, the draft picks are a non issue. Signing either one results in the same draft pick scenario.

      2. Well, it’s a little different signing a 37 year old when you know for sure that he is still a good player at 36 as opposed to signing up for it 6 years in advance. Beltran is risky, but he was the best bat available once they lost Cano. I don’t think they wanted to lose cano, but once it happened, they needed a bat.

  • steves

    I haven’t read every post the last few days but here are the things I am still wondering out loud about this whole sequence of events:

    1) Why didn’t the Yankees pounce when word came down that Seattle ownership cutoff negotiations a la the Tex negotiations when Bos. balked (albeit the time frame for that cutoff was pretty short). (My answer to that is in 3 below).

    2) Was Alex in Cano’s ear or, even if he was not, was Cano’s decision in any way influenced by the Yanks rather unpleasant treatment of Alex over the last year or so.

    3) The Yanks know how to go after and reel someone in when they want to. They hardly acted that way with Cano and their “Plan B” was effectuated (timing and otherwise) as if was “Plan A” all along.

    4) This whole idea that Cano will regret that he screwed up his “legacy” and being a Yankee icon is just naive Yankee fan wishful chatter. We fans love the Yankees and Yankee history. Cano probably knew squat about Yankee history growing up and obviously, by his actions, gave it little weight considering how immersed he should have been in it based on his Yankee career and performance.

    • Steve (different one)

      If you believe #4, then it doesn’t matter too much what the Yankees did unless they were going to beat the $240M.

      After all, no one seems to be arguing that the Yankees should have done that. The only argument I am seeing is that if the Yanks came up to $200M-210M, Cano would have settled for that.

      If #4 is true, them he was taking top dollar no matter what.

    • Fin

      People really aren’t arguing he should have stayed solely for the legacy, that’s part of it, its more being on a contender year in and year out. As we have seen this offseason, and the last time the Yanks missed the playoffs, they make shit happen to make sure they are back in contention the next year.

      If Cano isn’t traded, its very possible he never sees the playoffs again. I think its been since 2001 since Seattle has been in the playoffs, their fair share of 100 loss seasons, including 20 games under .500 last year. Not to mention the increased travel that comes with playing in Seattle. The Legacy they may be talking about is his own…His numbers will suffer in Seattle, and odds are strong that he ends up playing in obscurity.

  • Kluang Yankee

    The big splash that you just heard is the Mariners sinking to the bottom of the ocean with the CaNo albatross contract around their necks LMAO
    btw, here is a hypothetical. It’s the bottom of the ninth in the WS Game 7. It’s two outs, bases loaded and the Yanks are down one run. Who would you want to be up: CaNo, Beltran or Ellsbury? The obvious answer is Baltran (with his phenomenal post-season success), Ellsbury is second with his excellent 2013 post-season, with CaNo third considering his playoff futility

  • cashjr

    1) Cano will not regret it – I think it’s very bias at best and obnoxious at worst of us yankee fans to say he will regret making an extra $60M; jeeze-la-weeze.
    2) Seattle will regret it – but hey, we’ll know just how they will feel.
    3) I think Darren is either a relative or personal friend of Robbie’s and doesn’t want to relocate to Seattle to watch him play.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

      Darren just REALLY feels it sometimes.

    • Fin

      Im not saying he should have turned down the money. However, its certainly possible that Cano ends up regretting being in Seattle. If they continue to suck and he plays out his career on an awful team watching that stadium and crazy travel erode his stats and his HOF chances, I know I would have some regrets.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

    I only think that the Ellsbury signing was ill-timed, but not necesarios incorrect, in creating this idea hat they were low-balling Cano. In the end, they weren’t. It was a fair offer.

    He took the money. He didn’t give a shit. Fuck him. I hope he gets booed out of New York for the next ten years.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner (the rarely spoken-of sibling)

      iPhone language button fail.

  • gs3369

    I’m not sure what’s more entertaining, the amount of bitterness the author shows towards Seattle and Cano, or the fact that the author is making fun of a team paying too much for a free agent while being a yankees fan.

    Sour grapes, meet Matt Warden…

    • http://RiverAveBlues.com Matt Warden

      On the contrary, GS…I’m not bitter towards Cano at all. He’s a great player, was a great Yankee, and a lot of fun to watch. More power to him for getting paid. I don’t have hard feelings towards the Mariners either. That said, I do think the Mariners overpaid and I’m not sure it was the best move for them. That’s just an observation.

      As for the irony of a Yanks fan commenting on a team overpaying, is there really someone better fit for the job? As fans of NY, we’ve seen plenty of these albatross contracts handed out, and we’ve gotten to see these last few years how they complicate things first hand.

      In any event, glad you were entertained…

  • Ross F

    Not only did they top the Yankee bid by $65 million, but if Cano had accepted the Yankee offer of $175 million he would have gotten hit with roughly $22.5 million in state and city taxes over the life of the contract that he will not have playing in the state of Washington. So while the offer was $65 million more, the difference in Cano’s pocket was significantly larger than that.

  • http://dingtwist.com Chaki

    My penis has become a bit engorged after reading this.

  • Hughm

    Sorry. I don’t agree. The Yanks bid 50 million more than Elbury is worth but Cano is no budge? Crazy. Yanks will regret this. And Beltran? He’s a nasty jerk who way past prime. Nice job guys

  • Fin

    LMAO, sounds like the M’s should be winning any day now…


  • fred robbins

    Cano is a perfect example of today’s money only, me first attitude in sports. Cano is not a man of character- he has been here for 8 years and still speaks no English, unless he is asked about how much money he wants. He is a bad influence in the clubhouse for young players. He is lousy in the playoffs!!! He does not fill seats!!! he is not a leader on the team~~~ He has never been an MVP!!!
    Whining about losing such a player shows a true ignorance of what is important in team sports. This is nothing but a selfish player who loves the Celebrity of Jay Z.
    When he is not on one his hot streaks, which are amazing, he really stinks- He quits, he is out on 3 pitches and back to spitting seeds on the bench. He is concerned only about Personal Stats and not about team. I would rather have a team of Scott Brosius.
    True Yankee fans are happy this cancer is gone and the entourage of Jay Z type idiots.