The New York Yankees have a big problem.
The 31-year old, second baseman is without question the top free agent on the market right now, so logically you would presume that teams would be salivating over him.
But now Cano’s once secure Yankees future seems to be in jeopardy, and the only rational explanation is simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Just as the infamous expression goes, “Timing is everything,” and alas Cano could become its first causality this off-season.
Back on September 26th, CBS Sports Jon Heyman reported that Cano asked the Yankees for a deal in the 10-year, $300 million range, which would make him the highest paid player ever.
Yes, when you think about that number sounds ludicrous, but monster contracts have become the norm in MLB the last few years. And that is why makes even less sense that fans were in such disbelief over Cano’s greedy asking price.
The truth is the going rate for a player of Cano’s caliber would be somewhere in the 8-10 year, $200+ million range, so his demand is not coming out of left field here.
The issue now is mounting evidence proving that these gigantic contracts are way too risky for team’s to make.
Forget that the money is astronomical, as the real issue is the number of years being given to players north of 30. It was as if baseball believed that these elite players were ageless or something.
And this is where the timing issue comes into play, and not just as a convenient excuse.
Let’s say Cano had hit free agency two years ago, a 9-10-year, $225 million deal would have almost been certain. But looking at some recent disastrous monster contracts, like Albert Pujols’ 10-year, $240 million deal with the Angels has started dissuading owners from being hogged tied to any player for that long and for that much.
Alex Rodriguez, Joe Mauer, Troy Tulowitzki, Vernon Wells…. are just a few more examples of why Cano is more likely to be fielding 6-year offers instead of what the market had been dictating.
Back in the days of the Boss, Cano would not be the fall guy here but he is not the only one who would lose out here.
The Yankees could potentially lose their last homegrown superstar and an irreplaceable talent on the field.
And also considering that captain Derek Jeter is on the brink of retirement…the Yankees would be left with no domestic franchise player for the first time in decades.
Now this relationship is still salvageable, but for it to continue both Yankees inherited owner Hal Steinbrenner and Cano have to initially come into negotiations with a good-faith attempt of wanting to stay together.
Let me be clear, I want Robbie Cano to stay with Yankees and I think he deserves to be paid handsomely, but not at the price of $300 million through the 2024 season. The Yankees might have to pay more for fewer years to make Cano stay.
But Hal’s illogical frugality, along with Cano’s rumored greediness lends good reason for Yankees fans to prepare themselves for the possibility of this mini Armageddon occurring.
There is a delicate balance between want and fear, and the timing of something can disrupt that balance in a big way.
So what would be my advice to Robbie Cano if I were his agent, rapper Jay Z?
“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” - Jim Rohn, Motivational Speaker