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Yanks Should Rip Up Cano’s Contract and Extend Him Now

By Frank Russo ~ February 23rd, 2012. Filed under: Digest Contributors, New York Yankees.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Robinson Cano‘s agent is now Scott Boras. Cano actually switched agents during last season from the troika of Bobby Barad, Joe Rosario and Peter Vescovo to the man often referred to as the “Avenging Agent.” I’ve spoken to over two dozen MLB officials and scouts over the past six months about the Cano situation and the consensus is pretty clear: Boras is prepared to play hard ball to get a maximum payday for Cano when his contract runs out at the end of the 2013 season.

So here are the million dollar questions: what is Cano actually worth and what kind of contract should the Yankees give him?

Cano is entering his age 29 season this year, (his 30th birthday will be this coming October 22nd), and is in the midst of his prime seasons. At the end of his current contract, he will be entering his age 31 season. Considered by many to be the best second baseman in the game, Cano has shown to be only getting better in recent seasons. He’s also one of the hardest workers in the game and puts maximum effort in all his workouts. His offseason regime has become something to really admire.

Cano’s lifetime line is very impressive. A .308 average, 144 HR, 621 RBI, and an OPS+ of 119. These are all top flight stats. If Cano continues to improve on this line over the next two seasons, and there is no reason to believe that he won’t, then it only means that the Yankees will have to dole out a ton more cash if they ever hope to keep him long term.

One good friend of mine, a National League executive with over 40 years experience in the game, recently gave me his opinion on the matter.

“I think the Yankees would be smart to tear up the final year of the contract and try to extend him to a long term deal. This way you don’t have to deal with the whole free agent scenario and you can get him locked up for a more reasonable price, but I just don’t ever see the Yankees doing that. It’s just not what they do.”

Therein lies the problem. The Yankees have a standing policy where they do not renegotiate or extend contracts in season. Two great examples are how they handled Bernie Williams contract back in the 90s and more recently, Jorge Posada. In both cases, Yankees management allowed their players to enter the free agent market instead of extending them, and in both cases, other teams got involved, (The Red Sox with Williams and the Mets with Posada), which cost the Yankees more money in the long run.

Personally, I think it would behoove the Yankees to tear up the last year of Cano’s contract and work on a new deal. Scott Boras has already said that this something that he would love to do.

Recently, NYBD contributor Joe Delgrippo commented about how the Yankees should wash their hands of Boras after the Cano negotiations are finally resolved. That’s all well and good, but the problem is the Cano negotiations could get very ugly, very quickly, if Boras starts asking for unrealistic numbers.

Also, there are many people in baseball that I have spoken with who believe that it will be very hard for the Yankees to keep both Cano and Granderson, who, like Cano, has a team option for next year and will also become a free agent after the 2013 season.

So what would you do? Now is the perfect time to hear from you, the fans, and get your opinion on what kind of deal the Yanks should look to give Cano. Would you go all out and give him a Mark Teixeira like deal, which is what many in baseball are saying that Boras might ask for, or would you go with a shorter deal, say 5 years, at more yearly money? It’s all going to be very interesting to see how it all plays out. One thing is for certain, the Yankees can ill afford to lose Robbie Cano. For the next two season, the questions will continue to be, “how much and for how long.”

Passing Thoughts
Due to family concerns, which have taken up most of my time recently, this is my first column in nearly two months. Also, it was just a little over a week ago that I had to undergo an operation on my neck for which I am still in the rehab process. Now that things are calming down a bit, I will looking forward to starting up my coverage of the Bronx Bombers once again. Talk to you all soon!

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Frank is a resident of East Brunswick, NJ and former radio announcer. He is a 4th generation Republican and Yankees Fan. He also enjoys listening to talk radio. His favorite announcer is Shawn Hannity of “Hannity” on FOX and enjoys reading about military history. In addition to rooting for the Yankees, he also has a passion for the New York Islanders. You can enjoy Frank’s work at The Dead Ball Era and his book “Bury My Heart at Cooperstown”. Check out his “Rants and Raves” on New York Baseball Digest.

2 Responses to Yanks Should Rip Up Cano’s Contract and Extend Him Now

  1. Chuck Johnson

    Hey, Frank…get well soon.

    Seriously, though, the Islanders?

  2. Stu B

    Hope you’re back soon, Frank – your GOP friends need all the help they can get to avoid an Obama landslide in November!

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