Robinson Cano a Met? It sounds outlandish on the surface, but Cano put his best man on the job Monday night. Yes, it turns out Jay Z is as hands-on as promised. So hands-on he’s willing to shop his client across the RFK Bridge into Flushing. The hip-hop impresario joined Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant general manager John Ricco for dinner at a posh Manhattan hotel to discuss Cano’s free agency, two sources familiar with the situation told The Post. Cano’s group, which also featured agents Brodie Van Wagenen and Juan Perez, initiated the meeting; Cano himself didn’t attend. Alderson went on record last week to say he couldn’t envision the Mets taking on another player with a nine-figure contract to join David Wright, and Cano sure as heck wants nine figures. He asked the Yankees for a 10-year, $310 million contract, and the Yankees countered with a seven-year offer for between $161 and $168 million. The Yankees have not held extensive talks with Cano’s representatives since free agency began, and they’re unlikely to be unnerved by this meeting, given the Mets’ stated salary-commitment intentions and their payroll-slashing of the last three years. The Mets have a capable second baseman in Daniel Murphy, but it isn’t the presence of Murphy that would block Cano; Murphy could be traded. Rather, it’s Cano’s demands and desires, not to mention his love of the Yankees, that make this a shaky bet. So Cano going to the Mets remains a distinct long shot. The Mets simply had little to lose by agreeing to this meeting. And Jay Z, a rookie sports representative, could test out his pitch on a club that is ultimately unlikely to land his client. Jay Z has made it clear his representation of Cano is about marketing as well as baseball, and staying in New York with the Mets would afford Cano the many marketing opportunities the Big Apple offers. Of course, the Yankees remain the city’s top baseball team even after missing the playoffs for the first time in five years, and Cano’s brand-expansion potential — both short-term, given the Yankees’ pursuit of big-name free agents and long-term, given the benefits of a career spent exclusively in the Bronx — looms considerably larger by sticking with the Yankees. While Cano ranks as the undisputed top free agent of this Hot Stove season, his precise market has been a mystery. Natural-fitting, high-spending clubs like Detroit, Texas (which could trade from its middle-infield depth for starting pitching) and Washington have yet to proclaim themselves as interested. It’s possible, as The Post’s Joel Sherman suggested last week, Cano might have to wait for his fellow top free agents Shin-Soo Choo and Jacoby Ellsbury to sign contracts so the suitors for Cano become more clear.
Mets, Jay Z hold secret meeting about Cano
New York Post | Nov 19