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Yankees say Robinson Cano has to get “a little more realistic”

Nov 19, 2013, 12:31 PM EDT

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A day after reports that Robinson Cano is still seeking north of $300 million in free agency, Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York spoke to Yankees President Randy Levine. Who said that Cano has to get a grip:

“We want Robbie back; we think Robbie is terrific,” Levine said Tuesday in a telephone conversation with ESPNNewYork.com. “But we have no interest in doing any 10-year deals and no interest in paying $300 million to any player. Until he gets a little more realistic, we have nothing to talk about.”

The New York Post says the Yankees have offered Cano a seven-year deal for about $165 million. Ken Rosenthal writes today that Cano isn’t necessarily seeking $300 million, but that he asked for that during the season in order to get the Yankees to buy-out his chance at even exploring free agency. Now that they passed on that and he is a free agent, Rosenthal suggests, the bidding starts anew.

Whatever the case is and whatever the current offers and demands are, one gets the sense that this dance is going to take a long time to complete.

  1. artthoumad - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    I’m happy that the front office is holding their ground. No one is worth 300M. No one. If Robbie is going to be stubborn about this then I’d rather have the Yankees sign Ellsbury, McCann, Choo, and Tanaka for a total of 300M. It’s a lot better way to spend their resources.

    • chiadam - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      $300 million will not get Ellsbury, McCann, Choo and Tanaka, but I get your point.

      • pastabelly - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        I’d rather have Ellsbury and McCann, which you could get for $300M and still have a great deal left over.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:02 PM

        Ellsbury and McCann wouldn’t be a significant upgrade considering the huge downgrade you’ll get by losing Cano. Also, Ellsbury creates a giant roster crunch considering the Yanks would now have 5 OF’s.

      • Kevin S. - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:23 PM

        Not really, since you’d just waive Vernon Wells with no real penalty.

  2. uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    “Yankees say Robinson Cano has to get a little more realistic”. You think. A little more realistic is an understatement.

    • cur68 - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Yep. I think “A little more realistic” is YankeeFrontOfficeSpeak for “Laughing themselves sick privately but not wanting to offend Cano”. His price will come down. No one can afford that contract.

    • pisano - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      My friend, it’s time to move away from Cano. They can fill a lot of holes with that money. One player (Cano) is not going to make that much difference, but three or four will. Get the best available second baseman they can, and then get a few other positions filled, and move on. I’m afraid they’ll do what they did last year, which was wait too long, and the player pool was real thin, and they picked up nothing but castoffs. Time is of the essence.

  3. dashman33 - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    Funny how the Yankees want Cano to be realistic when being unrealistic and giving huge bloated contracts to guys like Sabathia and Tex has tied up so much money that they will be stuck with an aging overpaid roster for years

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Sabathia has one bad year and everyone wants to call him overpaid? Was his 4 years of 900 IP at a 3.22 ERA (135 ERA+) overpaid as well?

      • uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:19 PM

        church, not everyone wants to call him overpaid. But some of us are concerned about the 4 remaining years of his contract (including his vesting year).

      • chiadam - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        Yes.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:25 PM

        He had elbow surgery in the off-season which prevented him from doing his off-season workout. He basically came to ST with no off-season work done, so I’m not shocked he struggled last year.

        Can we wait more than 1 year to declare his deal bad?

      • Arods Other Doctor - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        Yes. Ultra premium dollars for a big boned guy who is only going to get worse … a decent but not great 3.22 ERA? And you don’t think that he’s overpaid? Lol, denial must be fun.

  4. jm91rs - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    I feel like Cano is the one guy that can turn the Yankees image around. Sign him (for anything other than a bargain) and they’re the same old Yankees, over paying for big names. Let him go and put the money into 2-3 other good players and it will feel like the Yankees have finally figured it out.
    It’s not my money, if they want him they will get him, but they’ve dished out a ton of money and haven’t won recently. My hope is that they build the team through trades and the draft, using their crazy money to add missing pieces rather than corner stones.

    • ras1tafari - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:45 PM

      I do not agree. As a fan, l don’t get the feeling Cano tries his hardest or cares much about the game. He a great talent, but I wouldn’t want to build a team or franchise image around him.

      • bigharold - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        “l don’t get the feeling Cano tries his hardest or cares much about the game. ”

        I watch about 130-140 Yankee games a year and I’m sure he cares. All this nonsense about him not running out routine grounders translating into him not trying hard is complete BS. If you want to get an indication of of his determination watch him go to his right, pass second base and throw to first. Watch him go to his left dive for a ball and get up and throw a guy out anyway.

        Showing false hustle does mean a thing. Since 2007 he hasn’t played less than 159 games a year. Last season he carried the offense for most of the year. At his age 10 years is clearly a bit much and $300 mil is a joke but right now he’s one of the best 2B, if not the best in MLB. What he clearly doesn’t get is his next 7-8 years will not be as productive as his last 7-8. But the Yankees, sitting a top a bunch of long term contract, are all too familiar with that reality.

        Timing in life is everything. Counting for Cano is he’s the best position player available in this FA class and he’s one of the top three 2B in baseball today. Also, the Yankees can ill afford to lose him especially since they are completely unsettled at SS and 3B already. Going against him is that the Yankees are dealing with a number of long term deals that will take players into their late 30s and not one of those layers had a good year last season. The Yankees are not in the mood to hand out another. And, since all the usual suspects big money teams are either set at 2B or have announced they’re not interested there doesn’t seem to be anyone bid up the price, (too bad for Cano that he dumped Boras, cause one of Scott’s specialty was convincing MLB GMs that he had scads of offers from mystery teams).

        Cano will likely remain a Yankee but for a hell of a lot less than he wanted. But, if he walks or remains a Yankee it’s clearly a matter of poor timing as his desire is not the issue. I

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:56 PM

      Let him go and put the money into 2-3 other good players and it will feel like the Yankees have finally figured it out.

      The problem is there really isn’t a combination of FA’s that play premium positions AND could replace Cano. McCann is the only one available, unless you basically count McCann + Beltran + Peralta which would all cost way more than Cano.

      This isn’t like the decision to sign Sheffield instead of Beltran years ago. There’s one elite hitter on the market (Cano) with a bunch of above average players who all have question marks (Beltran’s health, McCann’s ability to stay behind the plate, etc). Also let’s not talk about Cano as if he’s 35 right now. Next year is his age 31 season and he’s shown no signs of slowing down. If you sign him to a 7/8 year deal, you’re looking at significant declines in year 6/7/8, not 2/3. By those years every other long term deal will be off the Yanks’ books.

      • jm91rs - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:40 PM

        If you buy that the Yankees are contenders with Cano then you give him the money. If you don’t (I don’t, they had him and they weren’t contenders), then let him go and sign a few guys to fill the gaps. You won’t replace all of his production, but the answer for fixing your problems with over-paid, aging super-stars isn’t to throw more money at a guy that will fit into that category 5 years from now. If I’m the Yankees, I admit that I need to be on a 3-5 year plan of freeing up bad contracts and building depth. They need just enough players to not be a laughing stock for a few years, then start throwing money around when there’s only a few gaps left to fill.

        Or you go all early 00s Yankees and bring back cano, bring in Price next year, bring in Beltran, and any other big name player you can get your hands on. I just never understand why a team would give so much money to one guy if he’s not the missing piece, or if he’s not so young that he’s the corner stone of the future.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:08 PM

        If you don’t (I don’t, they had him and they weren’t contenders)

        The Yanks played most of last year with 2nd and 3rd string players at C/SS/3rd/1st and a combination OF of Wells and Ichiro. Was it really Cano’s fault, who played at an MVP level, that the Yanks weren’t contenders?

        You won’t replace all of his production, but the answer for fixing your problems with over-paid, aging super-stars isn’t to throw more money at a guy that will fit into that category 5 years from now

        What if you get the best player at 2b for those 5 years, is it worth overpaying for the last two? And what if he drops from best to 3rd best those last two? What then? He’s not going to turn into Brandon Phillips with the bat at age 32.

  5. andreweac - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    The Angels would be lucky to sign trout to a 12 year, $300 million deal — basically buying out 8 free agents years for $240 million. This would take Trout through his age 33 season.

  6. andreweac - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Are there odds which baseball reporter will be the first to leak a mystery team? Mets, just like when discussing the NL east division race, don’t matter.

  7. tedwmoore - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I am astounded how uniform the opinion on this seems to be, at least here in the comment section. I don’t have strong feelings on a 10/$300 million contract for Cano, but I do have strong feelings about the reported offer from the Yankees: 7/$165 million is a massive under bid. 10 years for anyone will likely become an albatross, and for a 31-year-old 2B, even one as seemingly durable as Cano, it will almost assuredly bite a team in the rear end. But an annual average salary of $23 million for Cano is insulting. He is worth $30 a year now, has been for the past two seasons, and if you expect the price-per-WAR to continue rising with TV revenue, then he could realistically retain that value through the life of a seven-year contract with something like 5-WAR seasons in years six and seven of the contract.

    • uwsptke - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      But the Yankees would have to be bidding against themselves in that scenario. The only team that could realistically pay him that amount is the Yankees. I don’t think they really even begin negotiating until he lowers his asking price and other teams get interested. They will keep the Yankees in the bidding until the very end, because they know that Jay-Z wants to build his brand in a major media market.

      • tedwmoore - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:04 PM

        Maybe. Maybe the Yanks are the only team able to afford a $30 million-a-year contract. I really don’t know. But this does not change that $23 million per year is a lowball offer for Cano. Use the leverage to protect yourself in years, but insulting the guy with such a low annual value is galling, and everyone here is focused on the 10/$300 million figure. Both sides are jockeying right now, but somehow opinion here considers the Yanks’ silly low offer as justifiable.

      • sportsfan18 - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:01 PM

        tedwmoore

        Beginning in 2014 Pedroia will make $110 million over the coming 8 seasons for an average of $13,75 million a season.

        Cano IS a bit better than Pedroia. But he is NOT worth about $10 million MORE than Pedroia PER SEASON for the next 7 yrs.

        Pedroia career .302 hitter. Cano career .309 hitter.

        Pedroia gets on base at a much better clip than Cano does.

        Cano hits for more power than Pedroia does as he’s averaged 24 HR’s per 162 games played to 16 HR’s per 162 games played for Pedroia.

        Cano doesn’t run, only averaged 4 stolen bases per 162 games played in his career along with 3 caught stealing to get those 4 SB’s by the way.

        Pedroia averages 19 SB’s and 5 caught stealing per 162 games played.

        I’m NOT seeing where Cano is worth about $10 million MORE PER SEASON than Pedroia is.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:04 PM

        Cano hits for more power than Pedroia does as he’s averaged 24 HR’s per 162 games played to 16 HR’s per 162 games played for Pedroia.

        Pedroia has never played 162 games in a season, and has averaged only 134 over the last four years. To prorate his stats over 162 games is extremely misleading when comparing the two players.

        And again, and this is huge, Pedroia had two years left on his deal when he signed his extension. He would have got a lot more money on the FA market if he actually hit it.

      • sportsfan18 - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:25 AM

        Hey Church,

        Reading comprehension. I said 24 HR’s PER 162 games played. See, I looked up both of their stats via baseball reference dot com to ensure I posted the right stats vs. simply making them up from the top of my head.

        At the bottom of every players career stats, they list what they do PER 162 games, like how many plate appearances, HR’s, batting average and so on.

        I did NOT say he’d every played 162 games in a season, I simply said how many HR’s he’s averaged PER 162 games so far in his career.

    • beachnbaseball - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      Insulting? Come on. The $23M per year for 7 years was their opening offer to his 10/$305M. It’s why they call it negotiations. But Cano’s side isn’t negotiating. They’re sticking to their original demands. If I’m the Yankees front office I thank him for his contributions and move on to Plan B – “Life Without Cano, don’t cha know!”

    • pastabelly - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:37 PM

      Just for clarification, what do you thing Pedroia is worth per year? Cano’s WAR average over the last three years is 7.0 and Pedroia’s is 6.3.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM

        fWAR/rWAR; average fWAR/rWAR

        Cano – 19.0/21.5; 6.3/7.2
        Pedroia – 17.4/19.4; 5.8/6.5

        Where are you getting 7.0 and 6.3? Also are you only using the last three years because Pedroia was hurt 4 years ago? That’s a plus for Cano because he’s never been injured. Also, Pedroia wasn’t a FA when he signed his deal. He had two years remaining on his contract which puts a ton of bargaining power towards ownership.

    • anxovies - Nov 20, 2013 at 1:19 AM

      I think the $165M is what is called an entry offer.

  8. pitpenguinsrulez - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    New York Yankees: The one team in MLB that I will always hate dearly

    • pisano - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      Who cares what you think, or who you hate.

  9. tndyank - Nov 19, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    I really don’t want a greedy 31 year old playing for the Yankees. The Yankees need to go out and get a group of free agents and a trade or two and make a run like the Red Sox.

  10. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:54 PM

    Explain why he should sprint to first on a routine grounder? Because he’s being paid a lot of money? What absurd reasoning. Does that mean Mike Trout never has to run hard because he’s only getting $500k?

    • jm91rs - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:41 PM

      You should sprint to first on a routine grounder because there’s a chance it might matter. Not that many players buy this, but they should.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      There’s also a chance you get injured, like Jeter did when he came back from the DL this year.

  11. sportsfan18 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    Cano is a bit better than Pedroia of the Red Sox.

    So the Yanks should offer him a few million more per season than Pedroia and no one should think that’s unfair.

    Actually, if the Yanks have already offered 7 yrs for $165 million, then they’ve already offered quite a bit more than a few million more per season than what Pedroia just signed for with the Sox this past summer as that would average OVER $23 million per yr for the 7 yrs.

    Pedroia actually signed an extension as he was already signed for two more yrs. Beginning this coming yr, 2014, Pedroia will receive $110 over the next 8 seasons which only averages out to $13.75 million per season.

    So the Yanks have ALREADY offered Cano about $10 million MORE PER SEASON than Pedroia.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      So the Yanks should offer him a few million more per season than Pedroia and no one should think that’s unfair.

      Pedroia wasn’t a FA when he signed his new deal, so he had zero leverage. How difficult is this to understand?

      • sportsfan18 - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:28 AM

        Church,

        How difficult is it to understand that Cano is NOT worth over $23 million per season?

  12. whocares44 - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:01 PM

    Not one of them are worth the money they get.
    If they want more then 1 million a year. Just say NO THANKS. BYE!
    If all the owners did this. Thing would change real fast..
    But the owners have no balls today….
    And Baseball is not even a game now. Its all about who has the most money..
    Sad deal..

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Nov 19, 2013 at 5:10 PM

      So you favor MLB owners committing a federal crime? Good to know.

    • Kevin S. - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      The owners did do that. Then they had to pay treble damages.

  13. ddmcd1974 - Nov 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    There is a floor and a cap so no need to worry bout that. Anyone who pays Cano more than Pedroia is an idiot. And if Cano is worth. 30 mil a year what is Trouble, Harper, Machado gonna be worth in 3-5 years. They are all twice the players Cano is already. Ask yourself this, who were the 2nd basemen on each of the past 6 WS teams and how many would you take over Cano at 30+ mil a year

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