Robinson Cano has done as fine a job staying on script this season as hitting a baseball. He has followed the playbook expertly of at the very least creating the illusion he is willing to walk away from the Yankees: 1) Make it clear through pals there will be no hometown discount. 2) Insist it is a business decision. 3) Drive home that it is a business decision by showing as little outward emotion as possible for the franchise. The idea obviously is to unease the Yankees so they offer beyond their current comfort levels because steps 1-2-3 have them convinced he is going to depart. But I do think this is a script. I believe Cano wants to stay knows he is in a city organization and stadium that fits him well recognizes his best chance to break out as a star (which he badly wants) is by remaining tied to New York and Yankees pinstripes and understands the best post-career life comes if he retires as a great lifetime Yankee. Does this mean he won’t leave? No. We are surprised annually by how far a team or three is willing to go in the offseason. Already on Saturday the Giants left many in the industry surprised they gave so much to Hunter Pence (five years $90 million) to keep him from being a free agent. The industry is flush with cash and remember: 1) The new national TV contract goes into effect for 2014. Each organization is about to receive about an additional $20 million-$25 million (which means any organization essentially could take this new cash influx and pay Cano with it). 2) There are now caps on what could be spent in the draft and on young international players. Thus teams have money and are looking for places to spend it. That is one reason why you see so many teams being bolder for example with older players becoming available from the Far East and Cuba where there are no restrictions. So if the Yankees never go beyond say $175 million and another organization bids $225 million I don’t think Cano will leave $50 million on the table. So one game ongoing in the industry is trying to identify which franchise might break out for Cano.
Cano hopes to drive up price, but who will meet it?
New York Post | Sep 29