While there is nothing new to report on negotiations (or lack thereof) between Robinson Cano and the Yankees, there is still plenty of chatter surrounding the game's biggest pending free agent. Here are a few notes on Cano and the Yanks:
- The Yankees should study history before they make a long contract offer to their star second baseman, writes Bill Madden of the New York Daily News. Madden argues that the last decade has seen a host of ill-advised deals of six years or more given to position players at age 29 or beyond. With only Jim Thome's 2003 pact with the Phillies having worked out in Madden's estimation, he says that the Yanks should only go past five years with Cano via vesting options.
- Whether or not Madden is correct as to how many years Cano should get, contract discussions are sure to include recent mega-deals that guarantee much more than five years. As MLBTR's Mark Polishuk posted yesterday, he agrees with CBS Sports' Jon Heyman that contracts like those signed by then-28-year-old Joey Votto (ten years, $225M) and then-27-year-old Prince Fielder (nine years, $214MM) are among the most pertinent comparables. Indeed, Heyman pointed to David Wright as a lower bound for a Cano deal. The Mets' third bagger, who is about the same age as Cano, is signed for eight years and $138MM (including seven years and $122MM in new money). He felt he left money on the table compared to what he could have achieved on the open market, particularly as he signed a year in advance of reaching free agency. Of course, Cano is not only closer to free agency with a cleaner injury history, but stands out prominently as the best prospective 2014 free agent.
- There is one additional factor that could portend an astronomical deal for Cano. As Madden's Daily News colleague Christian Red points out, Cano is not only the Yankees' best player but may soon be its biggest star. The Yanks certainly appreciate value that goes beyond on-field performance: the team signed living legend Derek Jeter to a deal that the team felt was an overpay at the time, and included terms in Alex Rodriguez's huge contract that set the team up to profit from A-Rod's pursuit of home run milestones. Cano, meanwhile, appears to be angling to elevate his star power beyond the game of baseball, potentially making him that much more valuable as a prospective new franchise face.