Yankees prove they have learned lesson by letting Robinson Cano walk
The average New York Yankees fan is not going to be pleased that Robinson Cano is not in pinstripes when the 2014 MLB season begins. Those who understand the game of baseball can rest assured that some of the best deals a team makes are the ones it doesn’t make.
Cano reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners on Friday. The Mariners will likely make up most of that money in merchandise and ticket sales, but they are going to regret the contract from a baseball standpoint. No team was going to land Cano without paying an absurd amount of money, but massive contracts like the one Cano signed have gotten the Yankees into trouble recently.
Look no further than Alex Rodriguez, who signed a 10-year, $275 million deal with New York back in 2007. A-Rod was 32 at the time. Cano is 31. The deals are fairly similar, and now the Yankees are left praying Rodriguez is suspended for a significant amount of time so they can be relieved of some of the financial burden.
To give you some perspective, the Boston Red Sox signed 30-year-old Dustin Pedroia to an eight-year, $110 million extension back in July. Is Pedroia the same type of power hitter as Cano? Hardly, but he is the heart and soul of the Red Sox and a former American League MVP. He’s also better than Cano defensively. Somehow, a team felt that Cano is worth $130 million more than Pedroia.
How about Albert Pujols? He signed an identical contract to Cano’s with the Los Angeles Angels just before his 32nd birthday. While there is plenty of time for Pujols to revert to his old form, he has already battled significant injuries and is undoubtedly making the organization panic about his contract. I’m sure he has several quality seasons left, but there is no way Pujols will hold up over the length of his 10-year deal.
The thing that really seems to be irritating Yankees fans is the fact that their team just signed Jacoby Ellsbury to a seven-year, $153 million deal before letting Cano walk. New York probably overpaid for Ellsbury, but you can’t sign top free agents without overpaying in this era. Signing Ellsbury to a seven-year deal has nothing to do with passing on Cano.
Fans may not realize it now, but the Yankees made the right decision. There is always going to be a desperate team out there, and the Mariners proved to be that team. New York did the right thing. Those who don’t realize that now will likely see it in four or five years.