It isn’t breaking news that Robinson Cano is one of the best players in all of baseball. He has been excelling for the Yankees for the better part of the last decade, and as a power hitting second baseman, his skills are rare. As the biggest fish in the free agent pond this offseason, Cano is looking to cash in big-time. In a strange move, Cano has ditched super-agent Scott Boras in favor of rapper-turned-businessman Jay-Z. The idea of Jay-Z sitting down with some of the general managers and owners around the league is an entertaining thought all of its own. Cano, and Jay-Z, have floated the idea of landing a contract north of $300 million in total value. Crazy? Maybe, but then again maybe not.
Abundance of Riches
The game of baseball has never been wealthier than it is right now. Revenues are at an all time high, attendance is strong, TV ratings are up, and on and on. In short, it is a good time to be a baseball player. As it relates to Cano, it is a great time to be a free agent with a great track record of reliable and durable performance. Great second basemen are hard to find, and ones of Cano’s level are basically once-in-a-generation players. This is obviously a player that is going to land a giant contract, no matter which uniform he happens to put on.
On the most visible team in the most visible market in the league, somehow Robinson Cano has flown slightly under the radar. The last time Cano missed more than three games in a season? 2006. This isn’t Cal Ripken, but pretty darn close. During that span, Cano has only hit below .300 once, and that was five years ago. He has amassed 200+ homers and has a career OPS of .860. The numbers on the back of his baseball card are so consistent they almost seem like a misprint. There should be no mistake when considering the talents of Cano – he is truly one of the very best players in the game.
It seems inevitable that Cano will go back to the Yankees, because it doesn’t seem like they ever let a great player like this get away. However, with the Yankees insistence on getting below the luxury tax number next season, it might not be as sure a thing as it seems from the outside. Also, there is the Jay Z factor to consider. This is his first free agent negotiation, and his first chance to make a big splash. Can he convince a team in another market to take the leap on Cano and sign a contract near that $300 million mark? Not only would that mean a huge payday, but it would also put him in position to land future clients impressed with his work. The Rangers, Mariners, Dodgers, and others have all been tossed out as possible landing spots, but only time will tell where, and for how much, Robinson Cano will sign on the dotted line.