Nearly every set of rankings had Robinson Cano at the top of the list when it came to the available free agents on the open market this winter, but few could have possibly predicted that he’d end up being an option for the Seattle Mariners. It would seem, however, that the Mariners have emerged as “major players” for Cano’s services, according to sources who spoke with ESPN New York’s Wallace Matthews.
It’s been widely expected that Cano would end up re-signing with the New York Yankees this winter, but to date the two sides have remained far apart in talks. The Yankees reportedly have an offer on the table to Cano, believed to be in the neighborhood of seven years and $160-170 Million. The team has expressed some hesitation to budge off that price, publicly stating that they won’t exceed $200 Million in order to retain their second baseman. It’s still unknown what Cano’s camp has actually asked for. Numerous times they have denied ever asking for a deal close to or exceeding $300 Million, as had been widely reported over the past few months.
Seattle is desperate to upgrade an offense that struggled nearly across the board. To further complicate things, the organization has had difficulties luring big name options to the Great Northwest. With a strong pitching staff in place, however, the Mariners could be a surprise contender if they are able to scrape together a respectable lineup. Cano would be a big step in that direction.
Matthews relays suggestions that the team could be willing to go to eight years and $200 Million on a potential offer to Cano. If he’s placed a priority on taking the biggest deal on the table, a move to Seattle could be possible here.
It remains to be seen if New York’s deal with Jacoby Ellsbury will have any impact on their ability to re-sign Cano, as that deal was completed a few hours after Matthews’ report first published. The Yankees’ deal with Ellsbury is for seven years, with an option for an eighth so one has to wonder if they’ll be willing to match that to retain their own homegrown player. It’s also tough to predict how much the team will be willing to spend, given the already excessive payroll commitments that the team has on the books and their stated desire to get under MLB’s luxury tax threshold.