Just about everyone around baseball figures the Yankees and their star second baseman Robinson Cano will eventually figure it out and agree to a new contract to keep Cano in pinstripes for a very long time. But before they do, they'll have to deal with two well-known contracts signed by two other New York baseball superstars, two contracts which are wildly divergent, people familiar with the issues say. One is the $138-million, eight-year deal Mets star David Wright signed only several months ago. The Yankees, according to sources, prominently mentioned this contract in their Cano talks in hopes of using it as a “comp,'' the baseball shorthand for a comparable contract used in negotiations. The other “comp'' in question in this case was for almost exactly double that Wright deal, which could make things tricky. Alex Rodriguez's record $275-million deal, agreed to by the Yankees and Cano's former agent Scott Boras, is a comp Cano's new agents are sure to try to mention. That represents a potential gap of $137 million, or an amount that almost exactly equals Wright's whole contract. Bridging that gap would seem to be a daunting task. But fortunately there are other contracts between those two that may prove more helpful in the end. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declined to comment. Cashman had said aloud this spring that the Yankees had made a “significant offer'' to the free-agent-to-be Cano, then later joked that he had made his “Joe Biden gaffe'' by revealing there'd be an offer when the party line technically was that there'd only been “negotiations,'' so it's no surprise he's staying away from the subject. (Though it's not exactly clear what the distinction is between an “offer'' and negotiations.) Brodie Van Wagenen, a co-head of the baseball division of CAA who has taken over for Boras in representing Cano and will be handling all the negotiations, also declined comment. (Cano's other new agent pick Jay-Z recently applied for certification, which is expected to be under review for weeks, if not months.) Word is, Van Wagenen and the Yankees so far have had only very preliminary talks in which the highlight apparently was an agreement to talk further at a later date. So it isn't known how much closer they are than the potential $137 million gap, but it's possible they may already be somewhat closer. While the A-Rod and Wright contracts have little in common, some points can be made for either as a fair comp for Cano, who makes $15 million this season, the last year of a six-year extension signed before 2008. Regardless, the reality is that neither side can reasonably expect the deal to be particularly near either one of those two comp contracts, not if they want it to get it done.
Should Cano be closer in contract to Wright or A-Rod?
CBS Sports | Apr 27