Robinson Cano and the Yankees are finally talking turkey. According to a source, the Yankees met Tuesday with Cano’s representatives — no, Jay Z was not there — and while that’s certainly a step forward in the negotiations, the Bombers and their longtime second baseman appear to still be on different pages when it comes to his new contract. “The gap is still very substantial,” said a baseball official familiar with the talks. Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman took part in the meeting with Cano’s team, led by agent Brodie Van Wagenen. Compromise has to start somewhere, so Tuesday’s meeting must be viewed a positive sign as the two sides had not had a face-to-face sitdown since their midseason talks broke down. The two sides are hoping to meet again Wednesday. Cano was seeking a 10-year deal worth more than $300 million during the season, although it is believed that his demands have come down in recent weeks. The Yankees offered Cano a seven-year deal worth about $160 million during the season, though it was promptly rejected. Even if Cano’s people have backed off the $300 million figure, they’re likely still seeking something well north of $200 million. The Yankees made their first big move of the winter this week, signing catcher Brian McCann to a five-year, $85 million deal with a vesting option that could make the contract worth $100 million over six years. McCann was originally slated to be in New York on Tuesday for his physical, but the stormy weather in the area prompted the Yankees to push that off until next week. McCann is expected to be introduced sometime next week at a Yankee Stadium press conference. Sunday, a major-league official told the Daily News that McCann’s deal “doesn’t impact Cano” as the Yankees try to keep their payroll beneath the $189 million luxury-tax threshold. But while Cano and the Yankees dance the free-agent tango, the Bombers plan to continue their aggressive pursuit of other free agents. “We’re not waiting around,” Levine said last week. “If guys start to come off the board, we’re going to sign them, which will affect the amount of money we have left for other players including (Cano).” At the top of that list is outfielder Carlos Beltran, although the Yankees appear hesitant to offer him the three-year deal he’s seeking. The 36-year-old is their clear-cut preference at the position, though Curtis Granderson, Shin-Soo Choo and Nelson Cruz are potential fallback plans.
Yankees meet with Cano’s agents, but gap is ‘still very substantial’
New York Daily News | Nov 27