Cano has surpassed a .300 batting average, .345 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage during each of the past five seasons, but it's hard to imagine any team will be willing to meet his asking price.
Rumors about his potential destination continue to surface. Whether it's the Yankees strategically playing the market or dark-horse contenders emerging, we're just getting started with this saga.
Here's a look at the latest batch of rumors surrounding the star second baseman.
Seattle Mariners Enter Mix
Wallace Matthews of ESPN provides details on the Seattle Mariners' interest in Cano:
The Seattle Mariners have emerged as major players in the sweepstakes for free agent Robinson Cano, according to several sources who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity.
With the New York Yankees not wanting to offer Cano more than a seven-year contract or as much as $200 million, an industry source with knowledge of the negotiations put the Yankees' chances of retaining the five-time All-Star second baseman at "less than 50-50."
Matthews also indicates how much money the team may be willing to pay for his services:
Sources familiar with the negotiations between the Yankees and Cano told ESPNNewYork.com that the Yankees believe Seattle might be willing to offer Cano $200 million over eight years.
Cano Denies He Asked for Massive Sums
According to Andy Martino of The New York Daily News, Cano has denied he ever asked for the reported $310 million figure:
OK, but we’re pretty confident that his representatives did. “I’ve never asked anybody for $300 million,” the free agent second baseman told the Dominican website El Dia on Thursday, during a ceremony to honor the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic Championship earlier this year.
Cano went on to say in Spanish that “nobody has ever heard that come out of my mouth ($300 million) and you’re never going to hear it.”
Deal Still Not Close Between Yankees and Cano
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, the Yankees and Cano's agents will reportedly meet this week:
With the sides still reportedly nowhere a deal, it seems increasingly more likely that Cano may not be a Yankee going forward, though Wallace Matthews of ESPN does indicate some progress may have been made:
Cano Taking a Trip Across the City?
Either Cano is very serious about getting as much cash as possible regardless of destination or he and representative Jay-Z think they are slick.
Per a report from ESPN's Adam Rubin, the star rapper and other representatives met with the New York Mets recently:
As Rubin notes, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson does not sound pleased with the asking price.
Then again, for a team that has not posted a winning season in five years, a superstar like Cano may be the final boost needed to an improving roster.
It's hard to see a deal happening, and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman seems to agree, according to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News. Not exactly what Cano was hoping for if the intent was to stir up a reaction in order to get the Yankees to cave in to his demands.
Yankees Targeting Other Players?
Were the Yankees so disgusted with Cano's demands that they're turning their attention to other players? Or maybe they are just not that concerned about the prospect of losing one of the game's best second basemen?
Regardless of the answer, the Yankees are clearly not stressing about the situation. Instead, The Bombers are looking to upgrade other areas while they wait. Mark Feinsand and Michael O'Keeffe of the New York Daily News write:
The Yankees are engaged with “five or six free agents,” team president Randy Levine said. The Bombers have serious interest in Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, while Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew are also intriguing as they look to bolster the left side of the infield. And that’s not even mentioning Japanese import Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees’ primary pitching target of the winter.
“We’re not waiting around,” Levine told the Daily News on Tuesday. “If guys start to come off the board, we’re going to sign them, which will affect the amount of money we have left for other players including (Cano).”
Is this posturing by the Yankees to get Cano back where he wants to be before the well runs dry?
Maybe. But more importantly, the Yankees simply don't seem worried by much of anything when it comes to Cano. That's a good move—the best teams don't put the demands of one player on a pedestal and sacrifice other areas.
Has Cano Created a One-Team Race?
This is far from a normal free-agency bidding war.
As one American League executive told ESPN's Jayson Stark, the entire process to this point has not made a lot of sense for anyone—except the Yankees:
It means that what he's going to get is probably not going to be market-driven. If you had a situation where everyone remained objective and everyone played it smart and you had teams that thought they could sign Robinson Cano for $120 million, you'd probably have five or six teams in on it...
...It's almost like you're starting out by making the market more exclusive. So all those teams willing to spend $120 million don't apply because they think this is headed for a different stratosphere.
What exactly was the point of demanding $300 million? Cano and Co. could not have possibly thought the Yankees would dole that out. Now we know why so little interest in Cano has been had—the financial side of things is something only the Yankees can meet.
Maybe this explains the visit to the Mets, which was initiated by Cano's representatives, not the other way around as earlier reports indicated.
It sounds like it may be a while before anything gets done, but one thing is for certain—the Yankees have a firm hold on this struggle at the moment.