Thursday, October 27, 2011

Bad Timing: Boras Wants New Contract for Robinson Cano

I really love Robinson Cano. Really. This is a guy who has done nothing over the last few seasons except give the Yankees everything that they wanted and needed from him. Here's a dude that goes out on the field and plays at the highest level; off the field: no drama, no issues.You wouldn't be able to blame the guy if he were to develop somewhat of a "me now" attitude though, as he has clearly become the best player on the Yankees entire roster. But, he's never given me, and probably no other fanatic, any reason to believe that he would do nothing more than continue to go about his business the right way.

But, he hired Scott Boras as his agent. Big mistake.

According to this article in The New York Post, Boras is asking the Yankees to drop the two club options on Cano's existing contract and negotiate on a new one.

"I called [Brian Cashman] to ask about dropping the options," Boras told the Post. "He hasn't returned the call."

The Yankees have options on Cano that will pay him $14 million in 2012 and $15 million in 2013. For a player of Cano's caliber, it makes sense that the team would exercise both options; less than $30 million over two years for the best hitter on the Yankees, not to mention the best second baseman in baseball, is a gimme.

Let's break down the numbers. In 159 games this season, Cano hit .302 with 28 homers, 118 RBIs and had an OPS of .882. Last year, he finished the season with a .319 AVG, 29 homers, 109 RBIs and an OPS of .914. He was 1st for the Yankees in 2011 in hits with 188, second to Curtis Granderson in runs and slugging percentage with 104 and .533, respectively, and was promoted to hitting 3rd in the lineup during the postseason. Clearly Cano has a case here, as it generally goes that with more production comes more money, and the Yankees would have a hard time arguing that he is undeserving of a bigger paycheck.

But what bothers me here, is the timing. This news from the Cano/Boras camp is not as lethal a blow of disrespect as the opt-out announcement of Alex Rodriguez during the 2007 World Series, but it is reminiscent. Why come with this now, when it's clear that the Yankees need to be focusing all of their attention and ample resources on securing CC Sabathia if the big guy decides to opt out of his contract, and all signs say he will? Would it have been too much to ask to allow the Yankees to deal with that issue and then bring on the "mo' money" parade? No disrespect to Cano at all, but Sabathia is worth way more in Yankee gold than Cano is. With no outstanding starting pitchers on the market that the Yankees can buy, bringing back one of the best in the league should be priority no. 1. And let's not forget that Cashman still has to secure another viable starter for the rotation. The Yankees shouldn't  have to deal with talk of a contract extension for any other player on the team this offseason. To say that Scott Boras is probably the most hated agent in Yankeeland, is an understatement.

This is going to be something really interesting to watch unfold. It is the Yankees' "policy" to not offer contract extensions to their players. But again, Cano is the Yankees' franchise player right now; to not offer him an extension will be perceived by many, and possibly Cano, as the team not recognizing his value. The bar on recognition was set with A-Rod's $275 million, 10-year contract. Yankee stars have been hoping for that same acknowledgment ever since (See Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada). If the team won't pay him now, and Cano still has several years in his prime ahead of him, what do you think this will mean when he becomes a free agent in 2013? It could mean a super-big payday for Cano, as other teams are sure to clamor for his services, and a big headache for Cashman.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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