New York Yankees: Why Robinson Cano Must Get a Big Contract Extension

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New York Yankees: Why Robinson Cano Must Get a Big Contract Extension
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Cano is best second baseman in the league.

Robinson Cano is the best second baseman in the league and worthy of one of the richest contracts ever given to a second baseman.

After the upcoming 2013 season Cano will become a free agent for the first time in his career.  He has hired the notorious sports agent Scott Boras to negotiate him a deal similar to Alex Rodriguez’s 10-year, $275 million contract, according to the New York Daily News.

Cano has earned a large contract extension through his production on the field.  His charity work off the field speaks to the character of the player outside of baseball.  The New York Yankees would leave millions on the table in potential marketing possibility and merchandise sales if they don’t re-sign him.

On the field Production

Cano has performed consistently since his arrival to the Bronx in 2005.  He averages a .308 batting average with 24 home runs, 96 runs and 95 RBI during his eight seasons as a Yankee.

In 2012, Cano led all second basemen in the majors in batting average (.313), hits (196), home runs (33), RBI (94), on-base percentage (.379) and slugging percentage (.550).  He tied Ranger’s second baseman Ian Kinsler for most runs (105) in the league.

Even with all the numbers he has put up over the years he is only the second-highest paid second baseman in the league after Philadelphia Phillies’ Chase Utley.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The left-hander’s smooth, sweet swing and defensive play has earned him numerous awards in his respective position.  Cano has earned the Rawlings Gold Glove Award twice for his outstanding defense and won the Silver Slugger Award for the past three years in a row, four in total.  The four-time all-star also won the 2011 Home Run Derby during all-star weekend.

Boras has a solid argument as to why Cano should be the highest paid player at his position based on his production.

Charity Work

Cano is a proven leader on the field and in the community.  He is as dedicated to his craft as he is to helping others in the Tri-state area and back in his hometown in the Dominican Republic. 

The Dominican native supplied 6,000 kids with baseball uniforms they couldn't afford and purchased two potentially life-saving ambulances for his hometown San Pedro de Macoris, according to ESPN

The Hackensack University Medical Center has rewarded Cano for his fundraising efforts and visits with children battling cancer by naming a wing after him.  The Robinson Cano Physical and Occupational Therapy Suite is part of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital in New Jersey.

Cano’s experience of visiting children in the hospital inspired Yankees community adviser Ray Negron to write a children’s book about Cano's story.  "The Boy of Steel" became a New York Times' best seller.

Al Bello/Getty Images
Best defensive second baseman three years straight.

Cano clearly is a positive role model to the children who look up to him, the people that he builds relationships with at the hospital and those he helps overseas.

Sales and Marketing Potential

Players can increase their value by being a fan favorite, selling merchandise and being on the brink of breaking MLB records. The marketing potential alone is worth millions in tickets, jersey and other merchandise sales. 

In 2012, Cano was 10th in most jerseys sold in MLB.  He was behind Derek Jeter and Rodriguez as the third Yankee on the top 10 list, according to Darren Rovell from ESPN.

The Yankees can't afford to pass up the opportunity to re-sign a potential hall of famer and one of the best second basemen ever.

If he continues to perform at his average rate, Cano can surpass Jeff Kent for the most home runs by a second baseman in MLB history.  He's currently 18th all-time in home runs with 177.  He is also currently 46th in RBI, and can easily reach top 10 ranking after a long-term contract extension.

With the rise in the Hispanic population in the United States, having a bilingual Hispanic star could be quite valuable.  The Yankees and other organizations can use his unique bilingual ability and popularity for marketing campaigns.

The Yankees must re-sign Cano to a long-term contract extension with a marketing bonus similar to Rodriguez’s contract.  Although the organization is attempting to lower its payroll to avoid luxury taxes, Cano is essential to the success of the franchise going forward.  

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