With no hometown discount coming, Cano could be gone next year

The Yankees have been talking about a $189 million budget for over a year now and throughout that entire time it has been a given that they would eventually re-sign Robinson Cano despite the budget.

However, it’s becoming more and more obvious that Cano is going to be looking for one of the largest contracts in baseball history and considering he is going to be 31 when he hits free agency it’s is becoming more and more likely that he skips town a year from now.

More from Mark Feinsand and Christian Red of the NY Daily News:

According to two industry sources familiar with Cano’s situation, the Yankees’ Gold Glove second baseman may very well bolt the Bronx once he becomes a free agent.

“I don’t think he’ll be with the Yankees beyond next season,” one of the sources told the Daily News. “He’s not giving them a hometown discount, and they seem to be more interested in keeping their payroll down than winning.”

Although Cano, who attended the celebrity golf tournament sponsored by David Ortiz this weekend at the Dominican Cap Cana resort, told the Daily News that he would “love” to remain a Yankee for life, he also added: “I know this is a business. . . . It’s up to them…”

…Another baseball source suggested that Cano will seek a deal similar to A-Rod’s, one that has become an albatross for the Bombers, who might be hesitant to tie up that much money and that many years in Cano, 30.

“He knows he’s the best player on the Yankees,” the second source said of Cano. “There’s no reason for him not to be paid that way.”

If we’ve found out anything this offseason it is that the Yankees are very serious with their budget. They also have two decent second base prospects coming up through the system that should both be ready by 2014 in David Adams and Corban Joseph. They absolutely could afford to give Cano $25 million a year, but that will kill their financial flexibility and would just add another Alex Rodriguez type contract to the books that will eventually be just as big an albatross.

Expect the Yankees to try to retain Cano, but they’ll be patient about it. They’ll probably encourage him to test the market, have him see what else is out there, and then, if they’re comfortable with how the market develops, make a strong, competitive offer. There will be a line drawn though and if he passes it he’s probably as good as gone.

That strategy, while hard for a fan base to accept, has worked out quite well for teams. The Seattle Mariners watched A-Rod sign a $252 million deal after the 2000 season and won 116 games the next year. Then there was last year’s St. Louis Cardinals who watched Albert Pujols bolt for a big deal only to replace him with effective short term deals on players like Carlos Beltran and receive similar production without the extreme risks of a long term deal.

The problem is that these deals only help teams for a limited amount of time. Eight year contracts or longer are just too long for a player to live up to. For the first couple of years a team has an incredible slugger that can carry a team, but by the end of the deal it can be crippling and kill a teams financial flexibility. If you don’t win a World Series early on it just isn’t worth it.

The Yankees have enough money that they can hand out deals like this, but they already have two on the book in A-Rod’s deal and Mark Teixeira‘s $180 million deal. Maybe if A-Rod didn’t have five years left on his pact and Teixeira four more on his then they could reconsider. But it’s just too risky for the Yankees as they could be hurt by three major contracts at once and if you thought the budget was restrictive now it’ll be crazy then.

The Yankees would love to keep Cano, and there is still a decent chance that they will, but more than ever it seems like he’s on his way out of the Bronx.

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16 Responses to With no hometown discount coming, Cano could be gone next year

  1. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I'm just not convinced that Cano is going to get as much as he thinks he is (or as some in the media speculate). Talk of $180M-$200M I think is way over the top. The ONLY thing that makes me think that is even a possibility is that the Dodgers could use a star second baseman. If not for this one fact (and maybe even still), I honestly cannot see him getting more than a 5/120 type of contract.

    The trend for players getting more than 5 year contracts is definitely on a steep decline. This year, it appears that Greinke will be the only one to get that. I'm not sure where Cano thinks anyone is going to give a 31 year old second baseman and 8 year type of deal.

  2. Reggie44 says:

    Love cano but if he wants 8 to 10 years yanks should tell him to take a walk or trade him. And he is not a 20 million dollar player never won and MVP or a batting title. And he is 31 we don't need a another A-rod again in 5 years. Trade him now sign Hamilton.

    • Dave says:

      Just what I was thinking. We can get Hamilton for a 4 yr deal. I'd rather have Hamilton on a 4 yr deal then Robinson on a 8 or 10 yr deal.

  3. ollie says:

    There is no chance in hell the Yankees will not resign Cano.(unless he wants to move for other reasons) He is the best player on a team full of stars and one that came up all the way thru the Yankee system. If the Mets can pay Wright I am sure the Yanks keep Cano. Maybe part of the reason Yanks not spending this year!

  4. Yank out west says:

    The way they all batted in the post season this year I'd be tempted to scrap them all and let the boys from Wilkes- Barre Scranton play.

  5. Mike says:

    Cano is a very good player who could be great if he gave 100% all of the time. That won't happen because of his nature, and because of that, anything over 3 years and they have another Arod situation. By that I mean, an older player whose skills will deteriorate through the long contract they have given him. The long, fat contracts take away the desire to prove oneself. Always essential for a winner.

  6. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I would give Cano the option of 2 different contracts. One for 8 years at $135M and one for 5 years at $105M and pretty much take the stand of take it or leave it. This of course assumes he has another very good. If he gets injured or regresses, that's another story.

    • Tanned Tom says:

      You must be kidding with this. Why would any player take such a huge cut below what they are worth? Cano is going to get a 6 year deal for at least $140 mil , or thereabouts. The only question is will someone go overboard and give him 8 years or will he return to the Yanks for 6.

      • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

        He may very well not take it. I'm sure most people thought Hamilton was going to be in line for a minimum of $150M contract all the way to the point of season's end. And while it may still happen, it sounds like nothing close to that will manifest. If a superstar caliber OF can't garner anything close, I don't see an aging second baseman garnering much traction unless the Dodgers REALLY want him. Cano is going to be 31.5 years old when that contract begins.

        • Tanned Tom says:

          You are right about Hamilton, but Cano seems to be getting better. It's hard to call him aging. His power numbers are up. And he can be moved to 1B or DH and not be a drop off in value because of his bat. So I think it might well turn on whether he wants to stay or not.

          • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

            Cano just turned 30 and finished this past season in his 20s. No one is arguing that he hasn't been getting better or that he is old now or in the imminent future. But he won't be a free agent until after playing yet another season and signing as a 31 year-old. How many more great years do you think he will perceive to have by then? 3? 4? No one's going to want to pay him $23-25M to play DH, even if it's down the road. Once again, unless the Dodgers get seriously involved, I think Cano's dreams of a megacontract are delusional.

          • ollie says:

            Correct!

  7. Gonzalo Hiram says:

    That's why I really think that we should get Hamilton.
    For next year the only outfielder we have is Gardner, getting Hamilton you just need one guy from the minors to become above average.
    Also this year you can trade Granderson and get Ichiro saving some money that you can use in Hamilton contract

  8. Luigi Ragusa says:

    Sign him, front load the contract and add performance incentives to the back end. Fear not the 8 year contract on a player of Cano's caliber. Physically his performance will decline only gradually since he is not part of the steriod induced performance group. It will also give the fans the belief that winning is important to the ownership. He is a great player that plays the game right. As his power declines you will see his obp and average go up.

    • Tanned Tom says:

      And an 8 year contract for a 30 year old middle infielder is wishful thinking. The vast majority of them can no longer field their position by age 35.

  9. front loading the deal doesn't do anything to help the luxury tax hit, for the record.