Once upon a time, I thought Jose Reyes would tell us something about what it could take to sign Robinson Cano long-term. Both guys were great middle infielders playing for New York teams in their late-20s, so when Reyes hit the open market I figured it would give us a benchmark for Cano. Reyes, as you know, signed a six-year contract worth $106M with the Marlins last year. I was dead wrong. That won’t be nearly enough to keep Cano.
For starters, Robbie is just a flat-out better player than Reyes. Don’t get me wrong, Reyes is no slouch, but Cano has been more productive in the years leading up to his free agency. More importantly, he’s been far more durable. Reyes has a history of hamstring trouble — not exactly ideal for a speed player — including two DL stints in his walk year. Robbie could easily visit the DL this summer, but it would be a surprise given his supreme durability over the last six seasons.
As it stands right now, Cano is going to smash the current second base contract records. His new deal with blow past Chase Utley’s record for total guarantee ($85M) and Ian Kinsler’s record for average annual value ($15M). I mean, those won’t even be close to what Cano will get. He poised to receive a nine-figure deal with Scott Boras running the show, and nine-figure deals tend to have an average value north of $20M annually.