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Is Cano Worth $300 Million?



By Mike Silva ~ April 14th, 2012. Filed under: New York Yankees.

Robinson Cano batted cleanup yesterday. Although Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher were the offensive heroes in the Yankees 5-0 home opening victory, it was Cano that I was focused on. How far we have come from the winter of 2008 when many thought Cano was a lazy underachiever. Just four years later it’s conceivable that he is the future focal point of the Yankees offense. He also might be the first $300 million dollar ballplayer.

When you look at the middle of the Yankees order the future is murky. Alex Rodriguez is not going to consistently turn back the clock like he did yesterday. Mark Teixeira needs to figure out whether he wants to play softball or baseball for the rest of his career. Curtis Granderson profiles better at the top of the order than run producer. Nick Swisher? Don’t make me laugh, as the Yankees will rightfully let him walk rather than offer a multi-year deal for a sixth-place hitter on a good team. There is no one that profiles as a middle-of-the-order run producer in the minors, especially now that Jesus Montero is in the Pacific Northwest.

That brings me to Cano. He has been called “Rod Carew with power,” but he should belong in the conversation with some of the best in the game at his position. Most believe Joe Morgan is the best second baseman in history. Through the age of 29, Morgan had accumulated 103 HRs, 433 RBI and a batting average of .270. He had two All-Star appearances and had won his first Gold Glove during that 1973 season. In comparison, Cano is also a tw0-time All-Star, won a Gold Glove and a superior offensive player with 144 career HRs, 621 RBI and a .307 batting average.

The Yankees have a $15 million dollar option for next season. Cano will be a free agent after 2013, and undoubtedly one of the most desired on the market. Is it crazy to think someone will offer him an Alex Rodriguez-type  contract that exceeds exceeds $27 million AAV?

The Reds just signed their second baseman, Brandon Phillips, to a 6-year/$73 million dollar deal. Phillips is a very good player, but nowhere near the conversation among the best in the history of the game. Joey Votto, a first baseman, just inked a 10-year/$225 million dollar extension that starts in 2014. The Yankees could talk about getting below the $189 million dollar luxury tax threshold, but the game is flush with cash. If mid-market teams are inking their homegrown stars to big deals, then the Yankees will have no choice but to do the same with Cano, who is a Scott Boras client. Stars such as Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder - both DH candidates in the back half of their career- earned 10-year deals worth $240 and $214 million, respectively.

If Votto is worth $25 million a year, then what will Cano demand at a far more premium position. Also, Votto – although a solid player – is nowhere near considered one of the elite first baseman in the history of the game. As mentioned, Cano’s production to date puts him in the same class as Morgan, but is also superior to Hall of Famers Ryne Sandberg and Roberto Alomar.

When you factor in the Yankees don’t have an elite run-producer coming from the farm system, then signing Cano to a monster deal is probably something they have no choice but to swallow.

Can you see 10-years/$300 million? I can.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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18 Responses to Is Cano Worth $300 Million?

  1. Rob

    This article is painfully bad.

  2. Theonewhoknocks

    This is the worst thing I’ve ever read in my life

  3. Reg

    Wow……..laughable

  4. Steve

    This article is simply abysmal. I don’t think further explanation is needed. I mean, wow.

  5. Joseph DelGrippo

    If they offer any more than four years with a team option for a fifth year, then the Yankees are nuts.

    Offer Cano four for $80 million with a fifth year option. If he takes it great, if he doesn’t, then good luck to him in Los Angeles or wherever else he can get more money, but not the prestige of being a Yankee.

    And I love Cano, but like a good stock which has made you good money, but starts to get too expensive when production will likely decline, you need to stop buying and sell.

  6. Frank Russo

    I wrote about Cano back on February 23, http://nybaseballdigest.com/2012/02/23/yanks-should-rip-up-canos-contract-and-extend-him-now/

    The thing of it is, there are not a lot of teams that can really offer Cano big money. Detroit? Nope. They shot their wad with Fielder. Toronto? They have the money but Rogers Communications is weary of spending, especially after they learned their lessons with Alex Rios and the Vernon Wells contacts. Boston already has Pedroia. Tampa can’t afford him. Baltimore? They have money but would they offer Cano a deal like that, and would Cano want to play for Peter Angelos? The Cubs have the money to offer a huge contract, but would they be willing to spend? Who knows with Theo at the helm! Same with the Dodgers new ownership.

    Right now the thinking is that Boras will ask for multi years and huge dollars if the Yankees should allow Cano to hit the free agent market. Somewhere in the 5 year, $120 million range might be the starting point!

  7. Chuck Johnson

    I agree with Joe..I wouldn’t offer/give Cano more than what Kinsler received.

    The article implies Cano is the best player in the game..he’s not even the best player on the Yankees.

    5/80 or take a walk.

  8. Frank Russo

    Chuck,

    I think your right about the Kinsler contract. He’s a wonderful player, and I think offering a contract similar to his is a smart move, and not exarly chump change for Cano. Unfortunatly, as you know, we are dealing with Boras here. From everyone I have spoken with within the Yankees organization and baseball in general over the past few months, the general concensus is that Boras will ask for “Mad Money”.

    Now, my question is, in your opinion, who is the best player on the Yankees?

  9. Chuck Johnson

    Granderson last year, before that, it was Tex or ARod or Jeter.

    Cano’s a nice player, but he’s not a $20 million player, much less $30.

    And as far as Boras goes, fack him.

    The new CBA basically eliminates his agent BS and negotiating rights.

    When I look at Cano, I can’t help but see Alfonso Soriano.

    A couple of nice seasons doesn’t justify a ten year contract, and if the Yanks do that, Soriano is exactly what they will get.

    They made the right decision eight years ago and let him walk, they need to do the same thing with Cano.

    Let him rape someone else’s payroll.

    The Yankees already have enough guys raping theirs.

  10. Matt

    Is Mike Silva mentally handicapped?

  11. Joseph DelGrippo

    The Yankees didn’t let Soriano walk. The Yankees traded Soriano and a player to be named later for Alex Rodriguez.

    Interestingly, the Yankees gave the Rangers a list of several players they could choose from to complete the deal. On this list were Robinson Cano and Joaquin Arias.

    The Rangers chose Arias as the player to be named later.

    Nice choice.

  12. Chuck Johnson

    Point being the Yankees didn’t think Soriano was an untouchable.

  13. MPB

    Chuck,

    I don’t know if the Cano/Soriano comparison works. Cano is leagues better than Soriano ever was with his consistency; work ethic; no holes in his swing and defense. Those quick hands and beautiful batting stance are good indications that he may have the ability to last as a good player to his late 30s. That is extremely rare for a middle infielder. Unlike Soriano, who benefited from hitting in front of an ‘in-his-prime’ Derek Jeter; Robinson Cano has been the backbone to this offense for the last two years.

    As for 300 million though, I think that might be pushing it. As much as I’d hate to see the Yankees give our another long term and obscene contract: I can definitely see the sides will agree to a 7 or 8 180-200 million contract when all is said and done.

    Will it be sensible? No, probably not; but there is no other options for the Yankees if they wish to remain competitive- talents like his don’t come around often.

  14. Daler

    So ‘monster deal’ equals 300 mil$??? Really?

  15. Mike Silva

    Here’s the bottom line: contracts don’t always follow logic and make sense.

    Like any purchase, there is an emotional component to it all. Scott Boras didn’t take on Cano as a client in order to get him “Ian Kinsler money,” but because he saw an opportunity to get him much more.

    The sabermetricians like to quote walks etc, but it’s home runs, RBI and batting average that get these guys paid.

    Cano plays a premium position (2b) and and has 25-HR/115 RBI potential.

    The Votto contract has opened up a whole can of worms. If a first baseman can get $25 a year, than what is a 2b, SS or CF worth? Jose Reyes is getting $22-million later in his contract.

    Will he get 10-year? maybe not, but I bet his salary is more $25 million+ AAV a year than some think.

    I never said it would come from the Yankees, either.

  16. Raul

    To the idiots who slammed Silva’s article as the worst thing they’ve ever read: there’s plenty of space for you jagaloons over at Bleacher Report.

  17. Mike

    Cano doesn’t hold a candle to Morgan when you look beyond basic stats and evaluate on base percentage, park factor and actually look at defense. This article is a joke.

  18. Raul

    The joke is anyone actually taking “Park Factors” seriously.

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