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Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson engage in a game of rock-paper-scissors.
When the season does end for the New York Yankees, there is one priority that severely trumps any other issues they may have; they absolutely must re-sign Robinson Cano.
As they have historically done over the years, the Yankees did not address the future of their second baseman prior to the expiration of his current contract.
The first instinct of many, like that of Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan, is to give Cano a career contract. “Make him a Yankee for life,” he writes.
This figures to be the approach New York will adopt, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a Yankee supporter who disagrees with this move.
However, at 29, Cano may already be dangerously close to a slow decline out of his prime (i.e., 32-year-old Albert Pujols who just had the worst year of his career. While much of that was due to a slow start, a 10-year guaranteed contract is certainly disconcerting).
There’s no reason to believe New York will fail to get its expected production from Cano through, say, 2015, but Brian Cashman and Co. will absolutely consider what rests beyond. This ordeal could become a drag.
Another point of difficulty will be how the Cano contractual situation impacts extending Curtis Granderson’s time in pinstripes.
Will Granderson feel disrespected/unwanted/cheapened when brushed aside for Cano? He should recognize those emotions as unintended consequences, but only time will tell if the Yankees can throw around enough cash in a timely enough fashion to please both sluggers.