The former New York Yankees second baseman, represented by Roc Nation Sports and rap mogul Jay Z, is looking for a mega-deal that at one point was reported to be in the $300 million range.
Cano hits the market with quite a track record. Entering his age-31 season, Cano is a five-time All-Star with a championship under his belt, is a career .309 hitter and has four top-10 MVP finishes.
Yet, New York is reportedly balking at paying Cano in the neighborhood of his alleged price tag. As a result, other potentially serious contenders for his services are entering the picture.
Here's the latest.
New York Yankees and Robinson Cano Are "Oceans Apart"
It is no secret the Yankees want Cano back—for the right price.
Team president Randy Levine has said as much in recent weeks, per ESPN's Wallace Matthews:
We want Robbie back; we think Robbie is terrific. But we have no interest in doing any 10-year deals and no interest in paying $300 million to any player. Until he gets a little more realistic, we have nothing to talk about.
Negotiations have continued, but Marc Carig of Newsday reports the two sides are “oceans apart”:
As for Yankees and Cano, sides are still “ocean’s apart,” according to a person with knowledge of the talks not named Richard Marx (I swear)— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) December 2, 2013
Go figure. The Yankees have enough cash to play ball, but understand that other franchises may not. Hence why the two sides are about $80 million apart after New York's most recent proposal, per ESPN's Buster Olney:
Cano, sources said, asked for a nine-year deal at $28 million a year, with a vesting option for a 10th year at $29 million this past week. That deal, at $252 million, would match Alex Rodriguez's 2000 deal with the Texas Rangers in guaranteed value.
The Yankees, sources told Olney, upgraded their offer to the $170 million range, leaving a gap of about $80 million. According to published reports and information from sources who spoke to ESPNNewYork.com, the Yankees had previously offered Cano a seven-year deal worth approximately $160 million.
There is plenty of time for Cano and the Yankees to work something out that appeases both sides. But the timetable may become accelerated, especially for the Yankees, with another team potentially entering the fray for the second baseman.
Seattle Mariners Have Emerged as "Major Player" for Robinson Cano
The Seattle Mariners appear serious about landing Cano.
Per Wallace Matthews of ESPN, a source says the Mariners are "desperate for hitting and desperate to put people in the ballpark."
The threat is real. Another source says the Yankees' chances of keeping Cano are "less than 50-50."
Should the Mariners meet Cano's demands?
Interest from Seattle would make sense. The Mariners finished 71-91 a year ago, 25 games behind in the AL West. A major part of the issue was the team's inept offense, which ranked No. 22 in runs scored, No. 28 in batting average and No. 26 in on-base percentage.
Conversely, Cano has averaged 28 home runs and 103 RBIs in each of his past five seasons. He is also a major name who would routinely bring fans to the park.
Now for the wild card in the Cano sweepstakes—if the Mariners have truly revealed themselves as contenders for his services, other teams may come forward as well. Teams with deep pockets and similar needs as the Mariners, paired with the understanding that the Yankees are not thrilled with Cano's asking price, may throw their names in the hat.
For now, this appears to be a two-horse race.