Jay-Z reportedly trying to market Robinson Cano as Michael Jordan

Robinson-Cano-YankeesRobinson 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

Magic Johnson: Los Angeles Dodgers will not go after Robinson Cano

New York Yankees slugger Robinson Cano is reportedly seeking a record-setting payday this winter. If he is going to get it, the 30-year-old will likely need more than one team to step up and drive up the price on New York. According to Magic Johnson, the Los Angeles Dodgers are not planning to be one of those teams.

“I can’t talk about the other guy,” Johnson said Thursday when asked about Cano, via USA Today’s Bob Nightengale. “But you already know that guy in New York is going to be paid. Not by us. But he’s going to get paid.”

Cano’s camp has to be as concerned as a group of people who are about to get a piece of at least a $200 million contract can be. We use the term “concerned” loosely because we’re not saying Cano is going to be hurting. He’s going to make upwards of $25 million per season into his late 30s, but the suitors appear to be dwindling.

Earlier this season, the Boston Red Sox signed 30-year-old second baseman Dustin Pedroia to an eight-year, $100 million contract extension. That takes one team with incredibly deep pockets out of the running. The Los Angeles Angels signed Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols to monster deals last winter, and their front office already has to be panicking about those contracts. I highly doubt they’ll be in the running for Cano.

The Dodgers have made it a point to prove that they will spare no expense since Magic and company bought the team. They have acquired huge names like Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford and have yet to sign 25-year-old Clayton Kershaw, a three-time NL All-Star, to an extension. Could Magic be bluffing? Sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if LA isn’t interested in Cano at the dollar amount he is reportedly seeking.

Of course, things can change in a hurry when the winter meetings get under way. The Yankees certainly won’t be the only team interested in Cano, but the free agent market does not seem ideal for Jay-Z’s biggest client at the moment.

Robinson Cano involved in dispute over child support payments

Robinson-Cano-YankeesNew York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is looking to become one of the highest-paid players in professional sports history this winter. Cano is widely considered to be one of the best all-around hitters in the game, and he is going to be compensated accordingly. According to the mother of his child, Cano needs to start sending more of that money to her and his son.

In an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines, Jackelin Castro painted a picture of Cano as an absentee father who pays her an average of $600 per month in child support for their 3-year-old son. Castro filed a child support case in San Pedro de Macoris in the Dominican Republic last month. She said she has been trying to reach a deal with Cano and his representatives since February, when they brought her what she felt was an insulting proposal.

According to Castro, Cano’s lawyers brought her documents dealing with Cano’s visitation rights and child support payments that proposed he give her 150,000 Dominican pesos every sixth months, which works out to between $500 and $600 a month. It also suggested she should keep the agreement confidential or face a $47,000 penalty for damages if she spoke about it.

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Robinson Cano reportedly seeking a 10-year, $305 million contract

Robinson-Cano-YankeesThe New York Yankees and Robinson Cano are said to be far apart in their negotiations for a long-term contract to keep the slugger with the team. There are probably a lot of reasons for that, but I’m guessing the fact that Cano is reportedly seeking a 10-year deal worth more than $300 million is probably causing the biggest holdup.

Cano recently left agent Scott Boras and joined Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, but it sounds like his new agents do business the same way his old one did. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Cano is looking for $305 million over a 10-year period and is expected to take the highest offer he receives — either from the Yankees or some other team.

Cano is 30 years old and has been one of the best hitters in the American League for several years. He’s a career .306 hitter with tremendous power, though his power numbers are somewhat inflated by Yankee Stadium’s short porch in right field. A deal anywhere close to the $300 million range would dwarf the eight-year, $110 million contract that 30-year-old Dustin Pedroia — a career .301 hitter with much less power than Cano — signed with the Boston Red Sox earlier this season.

ESPN pointed out that $305 million would match the total value of Alex Rodriguez’s record-setting contract, should A-Rod meet all the incentives in the deal. Cano clearly feels as though he has earned the right to become the highest-paid player in the history of the game. However, the way the A-Rod saga turned out is likely to deter the Yankees or any other team from giving a player a deal of that magnitude.

Realistically, Cano is not going to get anything close to $300 million. The Red Sox are out of the running, leaving only a few teams (the Los Angeles Dodgers for one) who would be willing to get into a bidding war with the Yankees. Cano will only be worth as much as a team is willing to pay, which probably won’t be a record-breaking figure.

Randy Levine: Yankees are not going to re-sign Robinson Cano ‘at any cost’

Robinson-Cano-YankeesThe New York Yankees remain in the hunt for a wild card berth this season, but many of their players are aging and breaking down. Derek Jeter suddenly cannot stay healthy and Alex Rodriguez is facing what could be a historic suspension at age 38. Simply put, this team needs Robinson Cano.

Cano is 30, one of the best hitters in baseball, and easily New York’s best all-around player. The second baseman recently fired agent Scott Boras and signed with Roc Nation Sports, so you know Jay-Z’s new agency will be looking to make Cano’s contract its introductory splash. However, Yankees president Randy Levine said the team does not intend to pay ridiculously money to retain him.

“Robinson Cano is a great player. We will sit down and talk to him,” Levine said during an interview with Bloomberg Television on Tuesday, via ESPNNewYork.com. “Hopefully he’s a Yankee. Nobody is a re-sign at all costs, but we want him back and we feel good about negotiating something with him. But nobody is a re-sign at any cost.”

The Yankees are in a strong position with Cano, especially with the Boston Red Sox having signed Dustin Pedroia to a long-term extension this season. Pedroia’s seven-year, $100 million extension not only drives down the market price for Cano, it also (presumably) eliminates Boston from being able to drive up the price on New York.

“The Yankees are the Yankees — we’ve been around for a long time,” Levine added. “I think our fan base understands that we’re going to put a championship-caliber team on the field. … Great players come and go, but the commitment to getting great players continues.”

In other words, we have enough money to put a contender on the field every season — with or without Cano. What you’re hearing from Levine are basic negotiating tactics. He’s not going to do Cano’s agents a favor by saying the Yankees need the second baseman, although it is probably true. When all is said and done, I’d be shocked if Cano isn’t in pinstripes next season. Unless, of course, the Los Angeles Dodgers come calling.

Robinson Cano hit on hand by pitch, leaves game (Video)

Robinson Cano left Tuesday’s New York Yankees-Toronto Blue Jays game after being hit in the hand by a pitch from J.A. Happ in the first inning.

Happ went up and in on Cano with an 0-2 fastball and nailed the lefty in the left hand. Cano actually turned into the pitch because he was getting prepared to swing, which led to him getting hit.

Happ also hit Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson on the arm in spring training in February. Granderson missed the first 38 games of the season with a broken forearm as a result.

The type of pitch that got Granderson and Cano tends to cause fractures on the hand, fingers, or wrist and frequently leads to a player missing time. The Yankees entered Tuesday 69-62 and 4.5 games back in the wild card race. Cano is the team’s best hitter and leads them in every important category.

To give you an idea of what they would be like without him, I’ll share this graphic:

Robinson Cano offense

UPDATE: The X-rays came back negative. Cano is day-to-day.

Billy Butler upset with Robinson Cano over Home Run Derby diss

Billy ButlerFor the second year in a row, there is tension between Robinson Cano and Billy Butler over the Home Run Derby.

Cano was named captain of the AL Home Run Derby squad last year and upset Kansas City Royals fans by leaving Butler, the Royals’ top hitter, off the team. The All-Star Game was being played at Kauffman Stadium, and many felt that including one of the home team’s top players would have been a nice reward for the home fans. Cano felt differently and left Butler off the squad. The fans in KC protested Cano’s decision by booing him mercilessly during the competition and supposedly going after his family.

This year’s All-Star Game is being played at Citi Field, and Cano was named captain of the AL Home Run Derby squad once again. When asked if he would make amends by picking Butler for this year’s squad, Cano answered, “no chance.”

Butler found Cano’s “no chance” comment to be disrespectful.

“I respect Robinson as a great baseball player and I don’t feel like he has to make those type of comments, really,” Butler said on Wednesday, per MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel. “The situation had nothing to do with me, I was just a guy that was a part of it. I’d like for him to respect me a little bit more with his comments. There’s no reason to say ‘no chance’ or that kind of stuff.”

Butler accused Cano of stirring the pot with his “no chance” remark.

“Obviously, Robinson is still affected by what happened last year and I told him that it had nothing to do with me, it was the fans. The fans ran away with it and everything like that,” Butler said. “Robinson is just trying to stir the pot again.”

Look, Butler is a very good player and has been a very good player the last four seasons. The Yankees would love to have him on their team. But as good as he is, it needs to be recognized that he is not the kind of slugger fans want to see in a Home Run Derby. He only has five dingers this season. Sure, Cano could have answered the question in a more diplomatic way, but there really is no chance that Butler should be in the Derby. And if it makes you feel any better, Billy, you have killed the Angels this season and I would love to have you on my team.