By Sweeny Murti
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NEW YORK (WFAN) -- Is a few extra million worth leaving New York?
That's what Robinson Cano is facing as his market finally begins to expand, with reports of the Seattle Mariners' interest. Could talking to Seattle only be for leverage with the Yankees? Perhaps. But it doesn't appear the Yankees are willing to be used to drive up the price.
Indications are the Yankees best offer is for seven years and between $170-175 million, and they will not be swayed by another team running up the bid.
The last offer from Cano's camp was a 9-year, $252 million deal with what was described as an easily vesting option that would take the total value to $280 million over 10 years. The Yankees are standing firm after publicly stating last month they have no interest in signing another player to a 10-year contract.
The Yankees believe their offer at an average annual value between $24-25 million should be enough to keep Cano happy. It would be the second highest deal in team team history (behind A-Rod's $27.5 million AAV) and would easily outdistance in total value the pre-free agency contracts signed by Dustin Pedroia and David Wright within the last 12 months.
I have implored the Yankees all season long to "pay the man," not to let a player of this ability get away. I believe the Yankees need Cano and he needs them. Earlier Tuesday I suggested a good deal for the Yankees and for Cano would be eight years/$190 million. The Yankee offer for seven years/$175 million is just as significant, an offer that will make Cano a Yankee for life, a deal that will allow him to get the same lifetime love that Yankee fans give their all legendary players. Cano is destined to become one of those players.
Maybe Seattle offers a little more money. Maybe Washington or another team does, too. Is it worth throwing away the legacy of being a Yankee great? Look at what Albert Pujols gave away when he left St. Louis. He could have been as beloved as Stan Musial for the rest of his life. That won't happen now. And it won't happen for Cano in New York if he were to leave now.
Cano is one of the best players in the game and deserves to be paid that way. The Yankees are making an offer that shows they believe that. I don't believe the Yankees are a better team without Cano, no matter who they sign this winter. But if they went as far as they were willing and were turned down, I would understand.
I don't know if we are at a breaking point yet with Cano and the Yankees, but it doesn't appear the Yankees are bluffing. Is Cano really willing to leave New York behind?
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