A year ago today, MLBTR asked its readers to weigh in on whether Cole Hamels would reach an extension with the Phillies. The result was a virtual deadlock, with 50.85% of voters saying that Hamels would not re-up with the Phils, and would instead enter free agency as perhaps the top player available. It took a while, but Hamels ultimately did reach a massive extension with Philadephia.
Now, we want your opinion on this year’s biggest would-be free agent. The game’s best second baseman, 30-year-old Robinson Cano, was an easy choice for MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes at the top of the 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings. Cano promises to hit the market as a franchise player in his prime, unless the Yankees extend him first.
The Yankees are obviously interested in doing just that, and indeed reportedly made Cano a “significant offer” earlier this year. Shortly thereafter, of course, we learned that Cano had fired agent Scott Boras in favor of CAA and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports. While there are a range of opinions on the meaning of the switch, some interpret it as a clear sign that Cano intends to stay in pinstripes.
On the other hand, the Yankees are reportedly determined to get the team’s 2014 salary under the $189MM luxury tax threshold. With Cano’s relative youth, consistent excellence, and outstanding record of durability portending a long deal at a high average annual value, it could be a challenge for the Yanks to structure an extension with Cano that allows the team to meet its salary goal.