Is Robinson Cano Really Worth a Potential Record-Setting Contract?
Yankees teammate Alex Rodriguez currently has the largest contract in Major League Baseball history with his 10 year, 275 million dollar deal, but he may no longer own that record as 5-time All -Star Robinson Cano is set to be a free agent after the season. Many “sources” have claimed that Cano looks to be the first player in MLB history to sign a 300 million dollar contract. Back in April, Cano ditched the infamous & controversial agent Scott Boras and surprised many people by signing with hip-hop mogul Jay-Z’s agency Roc Nation. Many people believe that this move will not only increase Cano’s asking price, but will also ensure that the Yankees will be able to retain their All-Star second baseman. These are two things that are worth keeping an eye on.
Making the Case for Signing Cano
Must we really write anything? Seriously, what Robinson Cano does on the field speaks for itself. He’s a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate, 2-time Gold Glover & Silver Slugger. I will probably catch some flack for this, but at this point in Yankees’ captain Derek Jeter’s career, Robinson Cano is the most important player on this New York Yankees roster. The average age of the players currently on the Yankees active roster, as of August 30th, is only 32.08. Though this statistic definitely surprised me, the average age would have probably been higher if Travis Hafner (36), Mark Teixeira (33) and Kevin Youkilis (34) weren’t on the Disabled List.This isn’t a very encouraging stat to look at knowing that Cano could potentially leave this lineup. Age isn’t the biggest issue. It’s not defense either even though Cano plays great on the defensive side that probably cannot be replaced. The biggest problem besides the idea of losing your star player for the Yankees and Yankees’ fans is Cano’s power numbers. Cano does not possess the power that Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera & Baltimore Orioles’ slugger Chris Davis have showcased this season, but compared to the rest of the Yankees Cano looks like Barry Bonds during his amazing/controversial 2001 season. Cano has only surpassed the 30 home run mark once & may not pass it this season, his 24 home runs nearly double the Lyle Overbay’s home run total of 13 which is the second highest on the team. Only four other Yankees have surpassed double-digits and newly acquired Alfonso Soriano is already tied with the fourth most home runs on the team in only 31 games. The power outage in New York definitely does not make Cano expendable. The number one thing on the Yankees to-do list is to sign this Dominican slugger. The Yankees are used to signing players to contracts that are worth high amounts of money and look for them to continue the tradition by resigning #24.
Why the Yankees Should Let Cano Walk
Hmmmmmm, now this is a much harder case to argue. Of course the Yankees need Robinson Cano, but is he really worth the rumored 300 million contract many are expecting? I have a hard time believing that any MLB player is worth such a high contract with guaranteed money. Well that’s just me. This is way too much money to devote to just one player. As we have learned with LeBron James & his time with the Cleveland Cavaliers, one player cannot lead a team to a ring. Baseball amongst all sports might be the hardest for one player to single-handedly lead their team to a title. If the asking price for Cano exceeds 200-250 million, then I would suggest that the Yankees do, in fact, allow their 5-time All-Star to walk. The Yankees will not be able to replace Cano no matter what they do. Players like him are not replaceable, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t sign a second baseman who could perform fairly well & sign maybe a pitcher or two. Building a team should be the priority for the Yankees instead of locking up a player to a long term deal. Again, if you are upset then you better be happy I’m not in charge of the Yankees.
How many productive seasons does Cano have left? I can’t really predict this answer, but I doubt he can hit like this for 10 more seasons. He’ll probably sign for 10 or more seasons. The soon-to-be 31 year old 2nd baseman is entering his prime & the Yankees will probably look like geniuses within the first 3-4 seasons of the contract, but may regret the move after. Again, these are just my thoughts. This is not guaranteed to happen & Cano may make me eat crow, but I just have a strong feeling. I am very hesitant to agree with long term and expensive contracts. Money is guaranteed, but performance is not.
Is Cano really that much better than the other 2nd basemans in the league? He’s better, but I doubt he’s 100-200 million dollars better than the likes of Dustin Pedroia, Ian Kinsler and Brandon Phillips. Pedroia might even be just as important to the Red Sox as Cano is to the Yankees. The Laser Show is a 4-time All-Star himself & won the 2008 American League MVP just one year after winning the Rookie of the Year Award. Pedroia recently signed a 100 million dollars contract extension. One just has to watch Pedroia play the game to examine his importance. He’s a player coaches dream about. He uses every ounce of his 5’8 165 lbs stature during every game. His defense is remarkable. I’m not taking anything away from Cano, but he has been catching some flack for not “busting his balls,” as they say. Of all of the 2nd baseman listed above, Dat Dude Brandon Phillips might be the best defensively. Watching him play second base is amazing. He’s so slick with the glove yet he’s not bad at the plate himself. Cano has been the most consistent with the power, but it might surprise most that Kinsler has surpassed the 30 home run mark twice. He also stole 30+ bases those seasons as well. Don’t get me wrong, Cano is an excellent player and worthy of a hefty contract, but he is not worth a 250+ contract. It would be wise to sign more than one player.
I know many people will disagree with me. Let me know why in the comment section below.