Friday, December 6, 2013

Robinson Cano Headed to Seattle

You read the headline right. Robinson Cano is headed to the Seattle Mariners. The two sides reached an agreement on a 10-year, $240 million deal this morning, just hours after reports of an alleged "snag" in the negotiations.

Well, all I can say to this is: apparently, money meant more to Cano than his legacy. And that, is all I will say.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on Twitter: @ra_cooper

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Color Me Baffled

Elise Amendola / Associated Press
Yesterday, the Yankees made a big splash in the offseason, free agent sweepstakes by signing now former Red Sox outfielder, Jacoby Ellsbury, to a 7-year, $153 million deal. As reported on ESPN's Mike & Mike show this morning, Ellsbury's deal makes him the third outfielder of all-time to receive such a payout, and, he is the 4th highest paid Yankee of all time behind Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter, when you break down his salary per year. I said weeks ago that the Yankees needed to do what they had to, to get Ellsbury and solidify their outfield, especially since it seemed inevitable that Curtis Granderson would be playing for another team next year. Ellsbury had a solid 2013 for Boston, hitting .298 with 53 RBIs and 9 home runs. He was far better in the postseason, averaging .344 going 22-for-64 and scoring 14 runs. He's a damn good player offensively and a remarkable defensive center fielder. But I have to ask the question: if the Yankees are willing to pay him $153 million, why shouldn't Robinson Cano get a $200 million contract?

Is it just my perception, or has Cano been the best second baseman in all of baseball for several years
Kathy Willens / Associated Press
now? Am I mistaken, or has he also been one of the best players all-around in baseball for several years now, not to mention that he has been the Yankees' best player for at least the last four? Cano has been able to play the difficult position of second base with no injuries, unlike Ellsbury who has been plagued by injury since 2010. And, Cano hits for average AND power. Have the Yankees forgotten that the dynasties of the last two decades were built on power? In Ellsbury's 7 seasons of baseball, he's hit home runs in the double digits once. Cano's averaged  28 home runs a season since 2009. Again, Ellsbury is a damn good player. Cano is an all-around juggernaut.

Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reported this morning that Cano's camp is "salty" by Ellsbury's deal, and rightfully so. What message should Cano take from this when the Yankees have shown no issue with paying big money to a player that really isn't worth the deal right now and because of injury, probably won't be worth it in the long run, but are refusing to see him on a deal that he's earned? While I believe that athletes make erroneous amounts of money just to play a game, the bar has been set by the likes of the A-Rods and Albert Pujols of the sports world, and Robinson Cano is worth a 7-year, $200 million deal. To disagree with that now that Ellsbury has his deal, is absurd.

So the question now becomes this: which side of the Cano negotiations is willing to make a sacrifice in securing his return to NY? Most insiders believe that a deal will get done, despite the Seattle Mariners now suddenly emerging as the team making the most noise for his services. I can't fathom the Yankees allowing themselves to lose to any team in the league, let alone Seattle. And it simply doesn't make sense to; Robinson Cano is in the top 5 players in baseball. You don't just let him go over money. You find a way to make sure that a player of his caliber stays on your team. Maybe the Yankees sweeten the pot via vesting options after 7 years; maybe Cano is given a contract laced with options that benefit and protect him more so than any player past. I don't know what it will take, but the Yankees better do what they must to bring him back. Ellsbury has his money; time for the Yanks to "ante up" and make a lifer out of Cano.

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on Twitter: @ra_cooper