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Robinson Cano: “I don’t have any regrets” about leaving Yankees

Aug 22, 2014, 11:50 AM EDT

Robinson Cano AP

Robinson Cano has a $240 million contract, his new team has a better record than his old team, and he’s hitting .329 with an .865 OPS that’s slightly above his career mark.

So not surprisingly when asked at a charity event about leaving the Yankees to sign with the Mariners this offseason Cano replied: “I don’t have any regrets about what I did.”

Cano also said some encouraging things about the struggling Yankees, including: “I mean, you gotta understand that some of their guys are getting hurt, and it just means they’re not the best. I don’t count them out. They’ve got a good team.”

In his absence the Yankees turned first to Brian Roberts and then to Stephen Drew at second base, but have gotten a combined .242 batting average with nine homers and a .679 OPS from the position.

  1. tigersfandan - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Why would he regret it? His chances at making the playoffs are better with Seattle!

    • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM

      Please…I don’t think he signed with them for his chances at going to playoffs.

      • ctony1216 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:21 PM

        Yeah, but the Yankees are a mess right now. Pitchers are hurt, power hitters aren’t producing, minor league system lacks top prospects. Unless the Yankees sign some international talent, soon, there are going to be some lean years in the Bronx. And losing in New York is never fun.

        Because of their pitching, the Mariners are set up for some solid years ahead. They just need a little more offense. Cano can be a big part of the success story over there.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:37 PM

        Well that all sounds good on paper for Seattle but it still has to come to fruition. I agree the Yankees are a mess but it’s getting a little old about their lack of prospects. They’ve called up a bunch of guys this season out of necessity due to all of the injuries and some of them have been a pleasant surprise. Do you really think if the Yankees staff was not decimated by injuries they would be where they are now? I’m not saying their weren’t cracks showing but they would probably be in the playoff hunt if things went slightly better on the injury front.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:00 PM

        He also wouldn’t have resigned with the Yankees if the goal was to go to the playoffs. He was, in 2013, the most valuable piece they had. Other than Gardiner (who was due to be a free agent after 2014), there were so few building blocks.

        He was one of the only oarsmen on a sinking sink, and he was smart to get out.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        It’s not like Seattle plays in weak division and is going to be a lock to win the AL west for years to come so I don’t know going to the playoffs was part of his decision and don’t really know what your point is.

        Ellsbury, McCann, Beltran, etc. all had horrible seasons. That’s not to say that won’t happen again but I think you’re selling the Yankees a bit short. Yes they have issues but I don’t think this team is going to continue to spiral down. It’s also very easy to look at this season and say how bad that are when they lost just about everyone on their starting rotation at one point or another.

      • stex52 - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

        How many people on this thread have been to Seattle. He took 240 MM$ to live and work in one of the prettiest cities in the U.S. These guys have lives outside of baseball, too.

        And to be proactive. I’m not a “hater.” I love to visit NYC. Always have a great time. But I don’t want to live there. Neither do most people.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        The only point I’m trying to make is that this was more money driven than him wanting to go to a team that’s competing for a championship. I also don’t think he went there for the scenery.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:31 PM

        I must be crazy…. Of course he went to Seattle to play for a team with a winning tradition and the beautiful scenery which had nothing to do with getting paid over 200 million. Heck, he probably would play there for the league minimum if given the choice and to escape from that rotten franchise in New York where nobody wants to live and where they never win. I must be on something to think so foolishly.

      • stex52 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Of course it was for the most money. Seattle is just a dividend.

        I’m not necessarily laying this on you, but there are a lot of provincial Yankee fans on this site who cannot imagine that it is possible for a player to want to be anywhere else. It gets silly sometimes.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Oh I totally get that not everyone wants to play for the Yankees. However, I’m not so sure Cano didn’t enjoy his time with here, but I know some players enjoy calmer surroundings. I’m not blind to that as many guys have come through that you just knew they would rather be else where. Randy Johnson is a good example.

      • ctony1216 - Aug 22, 2014 at 4:12 PM

        The question was about Cano not regretting his decision. And when you look at the state of the Yankees vs. the state of the Mariners, Seattle is looking pretty good.

        By the way, it’s not like the Yankees offered him nothing to re-sign. Cano would have lived like a king the rest of his life either way. The Mariners showed him that they wanted him more. Also, a lot of Yankees fans were hard on Cano, booing him and calling him lazy for not running hard (despite playing 160 games a year). So, it was more than the money. It seems like Cano made a good decision for himself, whether the Mariners make the playoffs or not. I’m a Yankees fan, and I miss watching him play, but it’s good to see him settling in nicely in Seattle.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    Also, now he, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain are fulfilling their destinies of having a 3-way beard competition.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:18 PM

      Another Relsnik!

      Joba wins. :) <—- tattoo

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:39 PM

        True – but I may have to re-think the reverse Kinsler.

        The Rangers are 4 games behind the Astros, even Kinsler didn’t think his curse would be that strong.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        My dad was griping about Kinsler wishing them to lose 162 games, and I asked: How far off that are you? He said “not much” — bitterly. Baseball Town has already moved on to the football season.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        If I was Kinsler I’d be throwing around curses to see what happened.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        I have no idea why he hasn’t cursed the Royals yet, dangit.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        Understandable oversight. Usually the Royals are cursed enough just by being the Royals.

    • scoochpooch - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:21 PM

      Yeah because they left the pressures of NY.
      Hughes will be treated as a king in Minnesota even if his record is 3-14 with 6 ERA.
      Most major leaguers are pusses who can’t dealt with pressure.

      Cano getting quite overpaid for 330-12-80 season.

      • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        pooor wwwittle yankee fan can’t come to gwips wif anudder team outbiddin them. me so sad.

      • karlkolchak - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        They still haven’t adjusted to having an owership group that is no longer willing to pile up gobs of cash an burn it, Joker-style.

      • argofckyourself - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        Newsflash, Robbie: the Yankees have no regrets letting you leave, either. In three years the Mariners are going to be begging to unload that contract as they continue to flounder around .500 every year. Nobody ever doubted Cano would be great his first three years of that albatross contract.

      • dcarroll73 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:33 PM

        Hey Jack, you do realize that the Yanks chose not to go to the 10 years that Robbie wanted, don’t you? I still think that was the sensible choice. His stats are fine now, and I think he is worth the money right now. The question always was for how many years. There is a lot of historical data arguing against Cano being worth it in the ninth and tenth years. Even the eighth would be a stretch, but I think the Yanks might have gone to 8 years. He wanted ten so as many of us Yankee fans said at the time, “So long and thanks for all the fish.”

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:35 PM

        Outbid? Is that what you think? The Yankees finally use their head and decided to pursue a long term contract. They made an offer knowing he was probably going to get more dollars and years from Seattle.

      • Jack Glasscock's Cup - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:36 PM

        I agree, dcarroll. just taunting he that used the tired ‘pressure’ argument. the ‘true yankee’ voting bloc bugs me.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        So many problems here, scooch.

        1) Robbie has produced $27.5 million of value already this year against $24 million salary (per Fangraphs)

        2) Let’s don’t use “puss” to make fun of people. I am personally a huge fan of the origins of that “insult” to the point that I consider this usage slanderous.

        3) I have heard from a great many friends who happen to also be Yankees fans that Hughes was not mentally cut out for the pressures of playing in New York. That may or not be true, I can’t say. But I’ve heard the narrative. And his performance in Minnesota thus far supports that narrative.

      • pete2112 - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:40 PM

        I won’t lie, the Yankees could have really used him this year, but I’m glad they didn’t invest another ten years into him. I hope they never do another ten year contract for any player.

      • Reflex - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:33 PM

        The argument that the Yankees showed restraint does not in any way hold up to logic. They did the opposite of show restraint. They spent *more* money on their offense than they would have by retaining Cano. They spent $286 million on Beltran, McCann and Ellsbury, and gave them more total years. Even worse, Cano is out producing all three of them – combined. For less money both per year and in total, and for fewer total years.

        The Yankees had way better options at the time. Retain Cano. Sign Nelson Cruz (who was available for cheap). Keep Cervelli at catcher (he had a better season last year than McCann is on pace for this season). That would have been a superior offensive and defensive team than what they are doing now. That team likely is in as a wild card this year.

        Going on about supposed regret in ten years ignores facts. $24 million today will be no big deal in 10 years due to continuing salary inflation. And if Cano outperforms his contract for the first five years, the last five become cheaper (and Cano is doing exactly that, he is on pace to return $12 million more in performance this season than he is being paid). Even worse, worrying about regret in ten years ignores the fact that the Yankees have regret *today* from the guys they signed. Beltran’s contract was a complete waste. McCann’s possibly is as well. And Ellsbury is being drastically overpaid for his production, which is only likely to decline as he ages.

        Cano is worth his contract. The Yankees ‘restraint’ is a storyline Yankees fans like to believe but it is one that only makes sense if a person ignores the moves the Yankees actually made last offseason beyond letting Cano go.

        And for those who think Cano is not the difference maker this year, his Runs and RBI’s almost perfectly account for the Mariner’s run differential once you subtract the production of last year’s second basemen. I agree that pitching is a big part of this, but the M’s without Cano score a lot fewer runs. And right now the M’s have the second best run differential in the major leagues.

      • bigharold - Aug 22, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        “The argument that the Yankees showed restraint does not in any way hold up to logic.”

        Your adding up the Beltran, Elsbury and McCann as if it’s one contract and your talking about logic??

        The Yankees had no trouble paying Cano it was the years not the average annual salary. Seattle is about to learn what the Yankees know, .. that 10 year contracts are generally not worth it, especially the second half of those contracts. If you think Cano will be earning his salary the last three, four years, $75-$100 mil, then you are kidding yourself.

        Had the Yankees given Cano a 10yr/$250 mil contract everybody would be screaming about how the Yankees. yet again, are making the same mistake. It’s amazing that the Yankees exercise restraint, and that’s exactly what they did, and they still have have people talking nonsense about them.

        What happens on the field is baseball and just about everything else is business. Cano made his decision as did the Yankees and the both happy about it. And, they’re both right for different reasons.

      • Reflex - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:22 PM

        Yes I am adding them up. That is where the money that could have gone to Cano went instead. It is logical to look at where they spent the money they ‘saved’ on Cano. And yes, the Yankees had problems paying Cano. Had they offered him $240 for 7 years I’m certain he would have strongly considered taking that. It was the money, not the years. They did not feel like giving him $240 mil guaranteed, they thought they could do better with that money elsewhere. Instead they paid three other guys for a collective 15 years and $46 million more.

        Cano does not have to be worth $24 mil/year in the last four years of his contract so long as in the first four years he offsets the last four years by outproducing his contract. Which he is doing by a significant margin so far, and is likely to continue to do for the next few years at least. Does it matter if he only returns $12 mil in value in 2023 if in 2013 he returned $36 mil in value on $24 mil paid? These contracts have to be looked at in totality of return on investment, and based on that the M’s have a very good chance of him living up to the contract.

        And yes, you are right. People would have screamed about the Yanks and long term contracts. They always scream about these things. They are usually wrong however. Baseball teams can afford these contracts. There are exactly zero ‘albatross’ contracts that are hamstringing any franchises. That is why each and every baseball team in the league is incredibly profitable as is the league as a whole. These contracts are small change compared to what franchises take in, and teams like the Mariners (and Angels, Dodgers, and Yankees) should be commended for reinvesting in the on the field product. Because as you said, baseball is a business, and a business rarely goes wrong when it tries to put together a better product.

      • ctony1216 - Aug 22, 2014 at 8:33 PM

        Cano came up in the Yankees system with Melky Cabrera, and they were good friends. Those two guys fired up the Yanks’ 2009 championship team, but for some reason the Yankees brass didn’t like Melky. They also never seemed to respect Cano, completely. Attitude or something. I always thought Cano and Cabrera were 2 guys they could build the team around, and I sometimes wonder how the last five years might have been different with both of those guys on the team, Melky’s PED issues notwithstanding.

        The Yankees have turned into a country club, where former All-Stars go when they went to cash in on their success and get a chance to feel what it’s like to “be” a Yankee. The front office seems to recruit guys who want that, who are content to just “be a Yankee,” whatever that means, and what Cano and Melky were not, apparently.

  3. El Bravo - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    What’s the NY media’s spin on this I wonder?

    • argofckyourself - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:33 PM

      Yankees haters never cease to amaze me with their stupidity.

      • 18thstreet - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:59 PM

        We aim to please!

  4. pisano - Aug 22, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Guess what? most Yankee fans have no regrets of him leaving either. This guy would have turned into another Arod, CC, or Tex. Anyone that gives a 10 year contract is insane.

    • drewsylvania - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      True, though I bet they have regrets over his production this season.

  5. chargrz - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:13 PM

    Too bad he can’t spend more than $600 a month in child support for his kid. Dead Beat Dad.

    • drewsylvania - Aug 22, 2014 at 7:30 PM

      Eh?

  6. footballfan1976 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:14 PM

    “ten year contracts are silly” ny fan
    “CC, TEX, AROD-excluded though, those work out great.”

  7. ejheim62 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    I’d say he has about 240 million reasons for not regretting his decision

  8. sportsfan18 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:52 PM

    No, Cano doesn’t regret it… But Seattle WILL in time… And sooner than later…

    And that really isn’t a knock on Cano either. NO player would be worth that into his early 40’s.

    One batter, even one as good as Cano, hasn’t really made a difference in their team hitting, as they are lower in on base percentage, slugging and OPS this season as a team with him than without him last yr. Yes, Cano IS having a good season, but it hasn’t translated to their team totals.

    Cano won’t remain at this level of production from his mid 30’s to his early 40’s or about the last 6 yrs of this 10 yr deal.

    The difference with the M’s this season is their pitching. A week or so ago they led all of baseball and were the only team with a team ERA below 3.00

    Here are the slash lines of what their pitchers have held their opponents to in 2013 and so far this year.

    2013 M’s opponents against the M’s pitching staff

    .259 batting average
    .319 on base percentage
    .417 slugging %
    .736 OPS

    So far this year in 2014 – the M’s opponents are only hitting the following against the M’s staff this yr

    .225 batting average
    .288 on base percentage
    .346 slugging %
    .634 OPS

    M’s are winning more due to better pitching, NOT Cano’s hitting. All that money and and the team is getting on base less, slugging less and has a lower OPS.

    If the team was still pitching the way they did last season, all of Cano’s hitting this year wouldn’t have helped them.

  9. greymares - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:01 PM

    Plus he forgot to mention he doesn’t have to live in the asshole of the world.

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      I wonder if you realize how much more that statement says about you than it does about NY.

  10. pisano - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:05 PM

    No, but he lives in the suicide capital of the United States, but with your mentality that’s a plus.

    • thisdamnbox - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:09 PM

      Please…way to roll out that weak-assed 1980s suicide capital reference…Washington State isn’t even in the top 20: http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/suicide-20-states-with-highest-rates/

  11. edelmanfanclub - Aug 22, 2014 at 2:53 PM

    Why would he? Got paid and is making a playoff run. Not that the yankees are out, but the Mariners look are just in a better spot.

  12. bajamex - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:19 PM

    A lot of people think Canó will live in Seattle, when in reality he will spend the offseason living in the Dominican Republic training with steroid dealer/trainer Angel Presinal, David Ortíz’ personal trainer in the DR, and trainer for a lot of players who have tested positive for PED/drugs or have been suspended by MLB.

    • Reflex - Aug 22, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      Still beating that worn out drum, eh?

  13. lazlosother - Aug 22, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    This whole thing is asinine. NY didn’t want to ad another grotesque contract. They’ve burned themselves too many times, look at the roster.

    Robinson knew he could make sick money. Who would think that’s crazy? I like Robby and I hope he does well. As a NY fan I regret that we don’t have him, but I understand why. I don’t wish him any ill and I think he could be a HOFer.

  14. vmm11 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    A lot of commenters are acting as if the Yanks should be regretting letting Cano get away after seeing his production this year. My question is did anyone here really doubt that Cano would be at least a .300 hitter this season, with probably more HRs and more RBIs? I sure didn’t doubt that he would put up those numbers, so why would the Yanks be surprised and feeling any sort of regret at the moment? They knew he was still in his prime and would continue to produce for the next few years. It was about locking another player up for 10 years and in the $250m range who was already over the age of 30. The reasoning seems to make sense to me, especially seeing how the back ends of their contracts are looking for ARod, CC & Tex. They have the recent experience of seeing the position they are in after committing to long term big $$ deals and it appears that Hal and/or Cash are making a conscious shift in the way they dish out contracts. They are not going to be as reckless with long-term contracts unless it is a player 27 or so and younger, so most likely it looks like they need to get back to the drawing board and start developing their talent in the farm system. Some homegrown young talent that they can tie up to sensible long term deals plus some key additions through free agency will be the key to bringing back the success that the fans are accustomed to. This is coming from a lifelong Yankee fan.

  15. vmm11 - Aug 22, 2014 at 11:28 PM

    and to the commenter Reflex who stated:

    “Going on about supposed regret in ten years ignores facts. $24 million today will be no big deal in 10 years due to continuing salary inflation.’

    Are you saying that the $21 million from the contract Arod signed in 2007 (8 years ago by the time the 2015 season starts) is no big deal when the Yanks have to pay him $21 million in salary for the 2015 season? Of course there is salary inflation but it is not that drastic over a 8-10 year period. Any way you look at it, there will be a time that Father Time catches up with Cano and he becomes overpaid for his production, no fault of his own of course, it’s just the nature of life and the game. He’s 31 today, in 8 years he will be 39 and will be getting paid $24 million dollars. Even with the inflation, which is not as drastic as you make it appear to be, he will not be producing at the level that a $24 million player is worth 8 years from now. That is of course unless he really is one of those special players that continues to age gracefully and produce into his late 30s. Then we can all sit back and watch and enjoy a heck of a ballplayer.

  16. seattlenative57 - Aug 23, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    For anyone that has watched the Mariners games this year, and I have, Robbie has had a huge impact. His OBA and OPS are at near career marks. Except for HR his slugging is fine. What has been exceptional is his defense, helping Seattle lead the league in that category. Cano has fit in just fine, expressing his happiness almost on a daily basis. As for the contract length, give me a break. Contracts are rewritten, modified, traded and terminated routinely. Cano’s current contract will not go unchanged throughout his Seattle tenure and anyone that believes it will is naive. Front offices negotiate.and renegotiate deals all the time. The organization and Cano will both come out winners here. Believe that.

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