Robinson Cano is easily the biggest client the newly-formed Roc Nation Sports has on its roster. If Jay-Z’s agency wants to be taken seriously going forward, Cano has to ink a massive contract that everyone can agree is equal to or surpasses what Scott Boras could have gotten the perennial All-Star. But are they aiming too high?
According to a report from the NY Daily News earlier this week, Cano’s agents are trying to sell him to teams as more than just a baseball player.
“They’re selling him as Michael Jordan, not as a baseball player,” an MLB source familiar with Cano’s situation reportedly said. “As a guy that’s going to be a big rock star and bring all these fans in. Last year, that wasn’t the case.”
Part of an agency’s job is to sell their client as more than just an athlete, but the sales pitch for a baseball player will never be the same as that of an NBA star like LeBron James or Michael Jordan. One basketball player can carry a team to a championship in addition to boosting ticket sales, merchandise sales and television ratings. That typically does not happen with baseball.
Jay-Z and company are still seeking a 10-year deal worth over $300 million, which means they are committed to making Cano the highest-paid player in the history of the game. With the Yankees reportedly starting at seven years and $160 million and no other teams making a serious run at Cano just yet, that is not going to happen. A $200 million contract is a possibility, but $300 million would be astronomical.
As for the Jordan thing, there aren’t many teams who will buy it. People tuned in to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers when LeBron was there just so they could watch LeBron. It didn’t matter how good or bad the Cavs were. No one is going to watch Yankees games just to see Cano. Baseball is simply a different product.
H/T Hardball Talk