The Yankees have an unofficial policy that they will not offer extensions except in rare cases. Robinson Cano has been one of the exceptions in the past and it looks like there is a chance that he might be again.
Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that they have at least started extension talks.
“There’s been a conversation or two,” the Coupon Clipper said. “We’ll get into that and we’ll talk about that at a later date. But he’s been a great Yankee, and [we] hope he’s here his entire career.”
All offseason the likelihood of an extension has been very low and, honestly, this quote doesn’t get me excited that they are considerably closer than they were at any other point so far. Cano feels like he’s already given the Yankees one hometown discount and expects top dollar the next time around.
It wouldn’t completely surprise me if they did figure out a way to come to an agreement though. The Yankees have gotten a lot of bad press this offseason about their upcoming $189 million budget and may view this as a way to win back some of the alienated fans. That’s just a though though, but with Randy Levine lurking around I can’t help but feel that he’s got a $200 million offer in him.
It really depends on how the Yankees feel about Cano. If they definitely want to keep him and know that now, they might as well try to extend him now because an extension rather than a new contract would slightly lower his average annual value (thus his luxury tax hit).
If they have questions though, about his makeup, his work habit, his ability to hit in the clutch, or be the team leader, they should probably resist the urge to make a splash. After all, it was one $200 million contract (or rather a $275 million contract) that has put the team in the tough economic situation that they are currently in. That’s on the books for the next five years and Mark Teixeira‘s $180 million deal is on the books for another four.