Robinson Cano buttoned up his new Seattle Mariners jersey as flashbulbs popped. From his seat on a folding chair 20 feet away, Jay Z smiled.

It was a big day for both, as the former New York Yankees second baseman signed a 10-year, $240 million contract, the first major deal signed by a client of Jay Z's fledgling sports agency, Roc Nation Sports.

It was an equally big day for the Mariners, who hope Cano will be a catalyst for transforming an organization stuck in a decade-long rut.

"He's part of the fabric of what we're trying to do here, where we're trying to get to," ariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "He's an elite player, and he's done spectacular things in the game."

Zduriencik thought highly enough of Cano, 31, to give him the third-largest contract in major league history.

"They showed me love," Cano said. "You always want to be with people who want you and make you feel like family."

That wasn't the case with his former team. The second baseman had played his entire nine-year career in New York, but said he didn't think the Yankees made a legitimate effort to bring him back to the Bronx.

"I didn't feel respect," he said. "I didn't get any respect from them and I didn't see any effort."

But on his first rainy Thursday of many to come in the Northwest, Cano wanted to focus on the future in Seattle rather than dwell on what he called a disappointing end to his time as a Yankee.

"This organization, they're going to build a great team in the future," he said. "This is not only about the 2014 season, this is about 10 years. And my goal as a player is to bring a title to Seattle."