Just hours after talks reportedly broke down between Jay Z and his camp and the Seattle Mariners and their president, Seattle has agreed to sign Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million dollar deal which will tie him for the third longest contract (with Albert Pujols) in league history.
Cano was previously allegedly offered nine years and $225 million and Jay Z and company asked for 10-years and $252 million, creating initial rage in the Seattle Front Office. Apparently, cooler heads prevailed and the two parties met in the middle.
With this deal, Seattle and New York are obviuosly directly affected.
For the Yankees, it means losing its best hitter in 2013, but they had proactively planned for this by previously signing Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury already this winter. Brendan Ryan and Kelly Johnson are also under contract as part of two lesser deals, so New York already has an in-house second baseman.
From a money standpoint, the Yankees basically chose: McCann, Ellsbury and Ryan over Cano, as all three former deals add up to just $3 million more than Cano’s contract alone.
For Seattle, it acquired a franchise hitter and signed him to a lifetime contract. Cano is moving from perhaps the most favorable lefty hitting ballpark in the American League to one of the toughest hitter’s parks in the game, although lefty power hitters like Raul Ibanez and Kendrys Morales did find success there last season.
Cano immediately becomes the most recognizable hitter in the lineup and the Mariners will hope he helps pave the way for other hitters to make the move to the pacific northwest. With the move, one of Nick Franklin and Brad Miller become expendable and can be viewed as a compliment trade piece in a potential deal for a front-line pitcher, which may be Seattle’s next target.
Seattle will get to keep its first round pick, which made signing a player under a qualifying offer a no-brainer for them. The Yankees, who lost its 18th overall pick when it signed McCann, a sandwich pick when it signed Ellsbury and an additional potential pick when it resigned Hiroki Kuroda earlier today, will gain a sandwich pick with Cano’s departure.
Inevitably, Curtis Granderson will sign elsewhere this offseason, with early indications implying the crosstown rival Mets as the favorites, giving the Yankees two sandwich picks while surrendering one and its first round pick.
With Kuroda under contract and bats like: McCann, Ellsbury, Soriano and a healthy Mark Teixeira in the lineup, the Yankees are likely to concentrate on pitching going forward as evidenced by the Kuroda resigning.
It’s likely the Yankees will target a front-line 200 inning type of arm as implied by Brian Cashman at the beginning of the offseason.