When looking at the lineup coming into this season, on paper, you had to like the Yankees’ depth. New acquisitions like Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury coming together with Mark Teixeira and Alfonso Soriano. The overall depth was supposed to be the Yankees’ greatest strength. Well, going into last night’s action, their run differential was -30. At this point, they miss Robinson Cano.
Cano is first in average, sixth in hits, and on-base percentage. He only has three homers this year, but you can blame the park for that. The Mariners are +30 in run differential and four games over .500, even though Cano has had Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison hitting behind him all year.
Was Cano’s contract gargantuan? Yes. The Mariners will probably have a payroll albatross on their hands in a couple of years, similar to what the Yankees have in guys like Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia and others. It’s what happens when you pay for past performance.
If the Yankees had just gone in, we don’t care about luxury tax mode, they might have Cano in the middle of this order this year, though much of their financial flexibility moving forward and considering all of the needs that this team has, they are going to need to spend some money to help fix some of them.
I think the Yankees had a certain number they felt comfortable with, didn’t especially want to deal with Roc Nation and didn’t want another giant contract on their books.
Could the Yankees use Cano’s production right now? Absolutely. Moving forward though, I think they will be okay.