The Mariners have emerged as a major player in the Robinson Cano sweepstakes, several sources told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. With the Yankees not wanting to go to seven years or as much as $200MM, an industry source with knowledge of the negotiations termed the Yankees chances of retaining Cano at "less than 50-50."
That source said that the chances of the five-time All-Star second baseman staying in the Bronx "don't look too good right now." For what it's worth, Mariners GM Jack Zduiencik wouldn't confirm to ESPNNewYork's Andrew Marchand that he has met with Cano. Sources familiar with the negotiations between the Bombers and Cano say that the Yankees believe Seattle is willing to give him an eight-year, $200MM deal.
The Yankees reportedly came to Cano with a seven-year, $160MM offer. An insider said the club might be willing to increase their offer, but not by a ton. New York could go to $175MM over seven years, good for an average salary of $25MM. According to a source who was briefed on their last meeting, the Yankees have rejected the idea of any deal longer than seven years for Cano based on their own history of bad deals, including Alex Rodriguez's ten-year, $275MM pact, and the deals given to Albert Pujols, Josh Hamilton, and Ryan Howard. Meanwhile, Cano's side painted him as not only "the best player on the board,'' but also as the best player in baseball and someone who is "indispensable'' to the Yankees, the source said.
One baseball insider said that it now comes down to whether Cano wants to be a Yankee or wants to get paid. The Yankees believe they got that answer when Cano's party allegedly asked for a ten-year, $310MM deal from the club during the season. Cano has since denied making such a request.