Should The New York Yankees Re-Sign Free-Agent Robinson Cano?
Brian Cashman and company will have a busy offseason ahead of them, and a lot of that will include having to make decisions on what to do with all the impending free-agents they will have. In this daily feature post, I’ll look over the player mentioned, and decide what the Yankees should do — re-sign him, or let him walk.
This one should be a no-brainer. Robinson Cano was the New York Yankees‘ best player this year, just as he has been for the past few seasons, and it’s extremely important that the Yanks bring him back for at least the next five years, especially is they hope to contend with a shrinking payroll in 2014.
Cano will be the most coveted free-agent on the market this winter, coming off another good year in which he hit .314 with 27 home runs an 107 RBIs — all while having almost no protection in the lineup — and there’s no doubt that he’ll have a good handful of teams bidding for his service — but at what cost?
This is where the Yankees’ chances at re-signing Cano could suffer. Reports came out in September that Cano had asked the Yankees for a deal in the range of 10-years, $310 million. Obviously the Yankees are weary of offering a player a 10-year contract after seeing what has become of Alex Rodriguez, and even Albert Pujols with the Los Angeles Angels.
Although no one ever wants to see their best player leave, we’ve seen it in the past — like with Pujols and the St. Louis Cardinals — an elite player leave his team, but it turns out to not effect the team very much at all. But in the Yankees’ case, they really can’t afford to let Cano walk.
Should he leave, they have absolutely nothing even close to his talent level, and they don’t seem content on spending the money to bring in someone that could replace him. As we all know, the Yankees have a weak farm system with no one Cano-like anywhere to be scene. Not to mention, we have no clue what Derek Jeter is going to come back like, and not even God knows what is going to happen with A-Rod and his appeal.
If you can imagine a scenario in which Cano walks, A-Rod missed most of 2014, and Jeter isn’t capable of playing shortstop on a daily basis, then you have massive problem on the infield. The Yankees used way too many players at third base and shortstop in 2013, but at least they knew Cano was going to be playing second base everyday, and they’d like to know that again in 2014.
Cano is often ripped for his lack of hustle on most plays, but many within the organization will still tell you that he puts in the work, and it’s why he’s one of the best in the game.
Decision: Sign, duh. The Yankees are clearly moving into a transition period, and it won’t be easy if they don’t at least have one all-star player to market the team around. The Yankees already have trouble putting people in the seats, and it’ll only get tougher if there’s no one worth watching while drinking a $10 beer.
If I had to guess where Cano will end up signing after he takes some time to off to think things over this winter, the Los Angeles Dodgers have been rumored to want him, but have said otherwise in recent weeks, but I believe that he will re-sign with the Yankees — not at the $310 million price tag, but somewhere around 6-7 years in the $180-$200 million range.
Gavin Ewbank covers the Yankees for Baseball Hot Corner. Follow him on Twitter, @GavinEwbank2013.