Yankees officially pick up options on Cano, Granderson and Aardsma


In the news of the unsurprising, the New York Yankees exercised options for the 2013 season on second baseman Robinson Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson and relief pitcher David Aardsma on Monday.

Cano, whose option was worth $15 million, hit .313 with a career-high 33 home runs and 94 RBI. He added 48 doubles among his 194 hits. He was second in the American League with a 7.8 fWAR behind Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim rookie outfielder Mike Trout (10.0). Cano, a lifelong Yankee, is being considered for an extension which could net him a significant contract which could keep the second baseman in the Bronx into his mid to late 30’s for per annual salaries above $20 million.

Robinson Cano had his $15 million option picked up Monday. (Image: John Munson/The Star-Ledger via US PRESSWIRE)

Cano is coming off a horrible postseason (3-for-40) but it should have little impact over his long term value. More than likely Scott Boras, Cano’s agent, will have no problem portraying his client’s worth. Cano has hit at least 25 home runs, rapped 41 or more doubles, scored 103 or more runs, driven in at least 85 runs and hit over .300 in each of the last four years. Cano just turned 30 on Oct. 22 so he has a few peak seasons left in him, but he reportedly will be looking for peak dollars over the next ten seasons. It will be interesting how the extension talks play out and when they begin.

The other $15 million option was handed out to Granderson. The Yankee center fielder hit a career-high 43 home runs and drove in 103 runs in 2012. He had a disappointing season in so far as his batting average is concerned–he hit just .232 which is a career-low. He also set a new career-high with 195 strikeouts which has brought questions about his all or not approach in the last two seasons.

Despite the questions, Granderson has hit more home runs over the last two seasons (85) than any other Major League player. According to MLB.com, Granderson is just the third Yankee to have two consecutive seasons of 40-plus homers, 100-plus RBI and 100 runs scored. There is certainly some value in that. Granderson’s long term consideration with the Yankees has other factors involved than just his personal performance. There are players in the Yankees farm system, Mason Williams and Slade Heathcott for example who could take over duties in center field in a couple seasons or the Yankees could turn to current left fielder Brett Gardner to make the shift over to center for much less money than Granderson will command.

While Cano’s extension could be discussed this offseason, the Yankees may opt to deal with Granderson after the 2013 season is complete to see how he performs. The Yankees expected payroll limit of $189 million in 2o14 may make it difficult to sign both Cano and Granderson.

Aardsma’s option was worth just $500,000 which could be a major discount for a former closer who is just 30-years-old. He appeared in just one game in 2012 after having Tommy John surgery in 2011. Aardsma’s signing last offseason pointed to him having more of an impact in 2013 as the earliest the Yankees would have hoped to have him available in 2012 was mid-summer. The righty reliever did try to get back to action during the summer but had multiple setbacks which ultimately cost him the season.