Throughout all of last season, it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Robinson Cano was going to return to the New York Yankees and be the second baseman of the future. Now, those thoughts in the offseason were all for nothing.
In a somewhat shocking turn of events, Cano is leaving the New York Yankees and heading out west to become a Seattle Mariner. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (via Twitter) , the terms of the deal are 10 years and a whopping $240 million. This is the second highest contract in the history of Major League Baseball. There will be a physical and a likely news conference coming up on Monday.
This move is surprising considering what happened last night, according to the NY Daily News. Apparently, the Mariners thought that if they offered Cano a nine year deal worth $225 million, the Cano camp would accept the deal. However, Jay-Z upped the ante on Seattle’s front office, asking for 10 years and $252 million, the same offer that Alex Rodriguez left the Mariners for in the past to go to the Texas Rangers. This caused Seattle CEO Howard Lincoln to “explode”.
The Mariners did end up settling for $240 million. Seattle is a team that desperately needed a legitimate bat in the lineup. They have a new TV deal next year and the only significant contract on the payroll for Seattle going forward is Felix Hernandez.
Cano has 25+ home runs for the last five years, but can that power translate to SAFECO Field? Can Cano attract more free agents to come to the Mariners? Brian Cashman stressed throughout the process that Cano could be the first Dominican to be in Monument Park if he returned to New York. So, the second baseman is also passing up his potential New York legacy to try to be a baseball legend. Plus, don’t forget Jay-Z wanted to make Cano the next Michael Jordan in terms of marketing.
Now, the question is where do the Yankees go from here? They still are attempting to field a team that will be under the $189 million payroll while still contending for the playoffs. They have brought in Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, but Cano was the homegrown player that could have been the face of the Yankees from years to come.
There is a plan B for the Yankees. Earlier this morning, they agreed with starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda on a one year, $16 million deal to come back to the Bronx for one more year. The Yankees will be looking still to improve the starting pitching, but keep an eye on two potential names that Brian Cashman and company could be interested in: outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and second baseman Omar Infante.
With that being said, give us your thoughts on Cano being a Mariner: Where do the Yankees go from here?