Could second baseman Robinson Cano leave the New York Yankees to join the cross-town rivals in Flushing? According to Ken Davidoff and Dan Martin of the New York Post, Cano’s agent, Jay-Z, had a secret meeting with the New York Mets on Monday night to discuss his client. This comes as a shock to baseball fans everywhere because before this news, Cano was not even courted by anybody other the Yankees, and the Mets have not shown much willingness to spend in recent years. However, this could be a marketing move by Jay-Z to keep his client in New York for marketing opportunities or just to drive the Yankees’ price up. Here is the report from the New York Post:
The hip-hop impresario joined Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant general manager John Ricco for dinner at a posh Manhattan hotel to discuss Cano’s free agency, two sources familiar with the situation told The Post. Cano’s group, which also featured agents Brodie Van Wagenen and Juan Perez, initiated the meeting; Cano himself didn’t attend.
Yesterday, there were reports that Cano and his camp have not backed off their demand of $310 million over ten years. The Yankees would be willing to do a deal with the total amount being $190-210 million according to reports. Ironically, that’s the kind of deal that third baseman David Wright received from the Mets’ brass last offseason (8 years, $138 million extension).
For the Mets, this is an important winter for them considering the money they have to spend with the money from Johan Santana and Jason Bay off the books. Their leading ace, Matt Harvey, will most likely miss all of the 2014 season due to Tommy John Surgery.
However, in the eyes of Mets’ fans, that should not be a reason they don’t spend. General manager Sandy Alderson said last week that the Mets were unlikely to sign a $100 million. The thoughts was he was talking about Jacoby Ellsbury and Shin-Soo Choo, but the name Robinson Cano never came to mind.
Could this be the splash that Alderson, COO Jeff Wilpon, and the Mets make to try to steal the city by bringing in the best player from their crosstown rivals? Are the Mets trying to show their fans that they will at least kick the tires on these kind of players?
The Yankees gave Mark Teixeira eight years and $180 million in the winter of 2008. I could see the Yankees sticking to their guns here and not offering Cano a deal over $210 million until another team is seriously involved or until Jay-Z comes back to them with a significant offer from another club.
It is possible that a Cano deal might not happen until January. Jay-Z is trying to expand Cano’s marketing empire and truly have him feel an “empire state of mind.”
Don’t completely dismiss this meeting just yet, but the New York Yankees are still the favorites to retain the second baseman’s services.