Impending free agent Robinson Cano has fired his agent Scott Boras and has signed on with Creative Artists Agency Sports and it’s new affiliate, Roc Nation, which is headed by Jay-Z, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.
This doesn’t mean that Cano’s new agent is Jay-Z, at least for baseball deals. Roc Boys will handle Cano’s off the field marketing, but the baseball deal will be done by CAA’s Brody Van Wagenen.
Obviously nothing is guaranteed, but this certainly seems to make it more likely that Cano will re-sign with the Yankees when the season is over. The Yankees made Cano an offer during the offseason and supposedly they never even got a response. With the word being that Cano has been uncomfortable the attention contract talks are getting and would like to get something done so it’s no surprise that he would leave Boras.
Boras, of course, has a reputation for taking his clients to the open market where he can get top dollar. There are exceptions like the recent deal with Elvis Andrus, but in past cases, like with Jered Weaver, clients have had to go against his wishes to sign extensions. Alex Rodriguez fired Boras after he was pressured to opt-out of his deal in 2007 and even Mark Teixeira eventually fired Boras.
Meanwhile, CAA has successfully negotiated extensions for Buster Posey, Matt Cain, Ryan Braun, Adam Jones, Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, Andre Ethier, Ryan Zimmerman, and many more. This doesn’t mean the Yankees will get a deal, in fact they’ll still probably end up paying around $200 million, but the fact that he’s signed with a company that has signed so many high profile extensions is a great sign that Cano is serious about staying.
Now, depending on how you feel, this is not necessarily a good thing. Like I’ve said, Cano is still likely in line to land himself a $200 million contract as it doesn’t matter who represents him. The problem is that huge contracts are what have gotten the Yankees into the current payroll crunch they are in right now.
With Boras they had a built in excuse, a reason to give fans for why they couldn’t work out a deal. With a company that is going to try aggressively to get an extension for Cano makes it harder for the Yankees to walk away from a $200 deal that could significantly hurt them down the road. And if you don’t think the Yankees are immune to public perception then I’d love to hear an explanation for the Vernon Wells
Signing an extension before Cano hits the open market may even end up costing the Yankees more money. On the open market the Yankees would at least get to gauge what the real market for Cano will be. They don’t get that luxury with an extension (although luxury may not be the best word as it could go either way).
Without knowing exactly what the market is can hurt the Yankees because they have a bad habit of bidding against themselves. They did it with A-Rod’s current deal, they did it with Derek Jeter‘s current deal. It’s part of the reason why the Yankees wait until contracts are up before trying to re-sign a player.
So while this is a good sign that Cano is serious about staying with the Yankees, it doesn’t guarantee anything and there are inherent risks involved. Still, it does seem like it’ll end up being better for the Yankees and fans who want to see Cano finish his career in Pinstripes.
• Another funny part of this story, Cano apparently never told Boras that he was leaving him to sign with Roc Nation. Boras said, “I haven’t spoken to Robinson and I hope to.”
• While Jay-Z is not Cano’s baseball agent, he plans to eventually become one. In a statement he said that he would start with baseball before eventually moving to basketball and football. Although it seems likely that he would have to give up his share of the Brooklyn Nets to rep basketball players.