Keeping with the trend of big-time position players highlighting free-agent classes, All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano is set to hit the open market after the season and could find himself in the midst of a heated bidding war.
While the Los Angeles Angels, who made the biggest splashes in free agency in each of the past two seasons with Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton, won't be players for the 30-year-old middle infielder (he celebrates his 31st birthday in October), a handful of teams will be in pursuit of Cano.
His current club, the New York Yankees, are certainly going to do whatever they can to keep Cano in pinstripes, something that could be made much easier should Alex Rodriguez's $25 million salary not be part of the team's payroll next season as a result of his expected Biogenesis-related suspension.
But they'll have competition.
The Yankees of the West, the Los Angeles Dodgers, have been on a spending spree since new ownership took control of the team in 2012, and the former Brooklyn tenants certainly have a hole at second base that Cano could easily fill.
One team we shouldn't sleep on is Detroit, who shocked the baseball world in 2011 by signing Prince Fielder. Owner Mike Ilitch is looking to win now and has the financial wherewithal to fit Cano into the team's payroll should he decide that winning is more important than not paying the luxury tax.
While some will point to the seven-year, $100 million extension Dustin Pedroia recently signed with the Boston Red Sox as fair value for Cano, neither he nor his representatives are going to agree with that assessment, looking for a multiyear deal that pays more than $20 million annually.