Reaction & Analysis To Robinson Cano’s Signing

Robinson Cano's reported 10-year, $240MM deal with the Mariners is the most expensive and surprising transaction of the offseason thus far, and there has already been a great deal of reaction to Seattle's major signing.  Here are some of the thoughts on how Cano's contract will impact several parties around baseball…

  • Cano was the one player the Yankees were unwilling to break the bank on, despite spending freely to acquire Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes.  Cano's Mariners contract, however, is "a Pyrrhic victory" for the second baseman, as he'll now go from a perennial contender to a club with a short postseason history.
  • An NL official describes Cano's contract as "a lose-lose-lose deal" for Cano, the Mariners and the Yankees, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.  "The contract is ridiculous and a desperate move from a desperate front office that seriously borders on moral hazard," the executive said.
  • Despite calling the Cano deal "probably worse than you think," Jeff Sullivan of the USS Mariner blog is still excited by the signing as a transformative event for the Mariners.  Even if the M's are going for it, however, Sullivan cautions that they should try to upgrade via signings and spending rather than trading their top prospects.
  • Since the Mariners are already looking to make more moves, USA Today's Bob Nightengale (via Twitter) calls Cano "a $240MM recruitment tool" that proves Seattle is a serious player.
  • "For everyone, respect trumped better judgment," Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan writes about the deal, arguing that Cano was turned off by the Yankees' contractual hardball when the team had already given Ellsbury a similar-sized contract.  Passan also thinks the Mariners were desperate to regain some respect and stature within MLB, and while the contract will eventually be a burden for the M's, the team needs to do "everything possible to win the next five years" while Cano is still in his prime.
  • Cano's representatives approached the Yankees earlier this week and lowered their demands to $235MM over the club's choice of eight, nine or 10 seasons, Joel Sherman reports.  The Yankees countered with a seven-year, $175MM offer that they claimed was "their breaking point."
  • Sherman chronicles the history of the Cano/Yankees negotiations and notes that the two sides never seemed particularly close to reaching an agreement.  “This is a not a surprise to us,” a Yankees official told Sherman. “This is what the dialogue had been the whole time. There was never a warm, fuzzy we are getting close momentum. There was no traction. This is why we have been trying to cushion the blow with alternatives [Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, so far]."
  • Writing for Grantland, Jonah Keri covers a number of topics about the signing, such as Cano's projected production over the next 10 seasons or how the signing is the best example yet of how MLB's national TV deal has been a windfall for mid-to-small market teams.
  • Jay Z delivered a near-record contract to his first baseball client, ESPN's Jerry Crasnick writes, and it could help the rap mogul's Roc Nation Sports in attracting more big-name clients.  That said, Crasnick notes that some in the industry believe that Jay Z was just a "figurehead" for a Cano management team that also included CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen.  "If the only priority is to get paid, there's always a sucker — and Seattle was the sucker," an agent tells Crasnick.  "For everybody to say this is an A-plus for Jay Z, I just don't buy it. That would have been getting New York to pay $240MM. Getting Seattle to pay $240MM wasn't some masterstroke."
  • Cano's departure will hurt the Yankees in the short term but it's "a victory for the organization," The New York Times' Tyler Kepner opines, since the team has learned to avoid handing out potential albatross contracts.
  • The Mariners still need some other upgrades for 2014 and beyond, Fangraphs' Dave Cameron writes, making the Cano signing particularly risky since he isn't a final move to put the M's over the top as contenders.  For Cameron, the signing reminds him of the Royals' acquisition of James Shields last offseason, an "all-in" kind of move that improved the Royals but didn't get them into the playoffs, leaving them just one more year of team control over Shields.

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