All offseason, everybody has been asking who is the mystery team that is going to get involved in the Robinson Cano sweepstakes. On Monday, we saw the Yankees and Robinson Cano meet again with sources saying the Yankees are not going to give Cano a $200 million+ deal. Well, there might be one team that might be willing to throw the big bucks at the second baseman.
On Tuesday, Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York reported from several sources that the Seattle Mariners are major players in the Cano sweepstakes. Since the Yankees don’t want to go past $200 million, it seems as if now the Yankees’ chances of retaining Cano are less than 50-50.
The Mariners are a team in desperate need of a bat. GM Jack Zduriencik has been trying to find a big bat for a team that does not play in a home run friendly ballpark. They have been in on big names in the past such as Josh Hamilton last season, but have come up short. Could Jay-Z and Roc Nation be using the Mariners as a leverage point just like he did with Sandy Alderson and the New York Mets?
To find out more about the Cano rumors from a Mariners’ perspective, I asked the editor of Sodo Mojo, Patrick Leary, for his thoughts:
“I don’t think it’s worth much. Jay Z/Cano are just using them for leverage. Cano probably wouldn’t want to come to Seattle. Seattle would love it. But they haven’t lured a big time free agent in forever and there’s no precedent for that kind of move.”
One thing to keep an eye on in this story is what happens with Carlos Beltran. It looks like the Kansas City Royals have offered Beltran a three year deal worth $48 million. If the Yankees don’t give Beltran the third year, the leverage shifts back to Cano. The Yankees would then either have to bring back Cano or dive deeper into the running for Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury to renovate their offense for 2014. The Yankees, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi (via Twitter), have offers out to Choo and Ellsbury as well as second baseman Omar Infante. The Yankees could also target Nelson Cruz.