Update: this was written before the news came out this morning that the Mariners have pulled out of the Cano talks. Apparently, Jay Z demanded a 10 year, $252 million contract after the Mariners offered 9 years at $225 million. The Winter Meetings begin Sunday, so anything can happen and maybe the Mariners get back into the talks.
The ever changing offseason rumor mill is in full swing:
Source: Talks between Cano, #Mariners still alive.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 6, 2013
deal for cano and mariners is $240M, 10 years according to @Enrique_Rojas1. can confirm it's agreed to.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) December 6, 2013
Robinson Cano wanted a 10 year deal for $300 million at the beginning of the offseason. Many scoffed at that contract demand, and the Yankees have been adamant about not meeting that demand. Recent rumors have the Yankees offering Cano a 7 year, $175 million offer, or about $25 million per season. No small change, and if anyone is deserving of that kind of money, Cano is. i just don't know if he is deserving of that kind of money outside of Yankee Stadium, to be honest.
I wrote about the possibility of Cano signing with the Mariners back on November 23rd, as the Mariners are flush with cash and are ready to make a splash this offseason. To get Cano, though, they are going to do what the Nationals did a few seasons ago, overpaying for a free agent hitter. The Nationals overpaid for the services of Jayson Werth, telling all future free agents that Washington was serious about building a winner.
Now it appears the Mariners are in the same boat as the Nationals were a few seasons ago. They are ready to overpay to bring Robinson Cano to Seattle. Recent reports indicate they may have made a huge 9 year, $225 million offer to Cano,
Here is Jon Heyman from CBS Sports:
Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported the Mariners were willing to go to $230 million or even $240 million, so perhaps they might boost their $225-million idea. A $225-million, nine-year bid would give Cano an average annual value (AAV) of $25-million, which is equal to Josh Hamilton, slightly more than Albert Pujols and among the biggest in baseball history -- though not quite the record $27.5 million average salary of his good friend and longtime teammate Rodriguez, the financial record-holder.
I don't see any other team topping the Mariners offer, but with the Winter Meetings starting on Sunday night, this might just be a marketing tactic by Jay-Z and the rest of Cano's agents to build momentum into next week's meetings. Heck, it can't hurt right?
So, what is the fantasy impact of Cano signing with Seattle? I think his ranking amongst other fantasy second baseman will drop, as he would be moving from a hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium to a pitcher-friendly Safeco Field. Hitters go to Safeco and see their stats hurt by the spacious ball park. Cano will be no different.
Off the top of my head, I would drop him to #2 in my fantasy second base rankings for 2014, with Jason Kipnis becoming my #1 fantasy second baseman.
But for Seattle, Cano improves their lineup:
C - Mike Zunino
1B - Justin Smoak
2B - Robinson Cano
SS - Brad Miller
3B - Kyle Seager
LF - free agent?
CF - Michael Saunders
RF - free agent?
The Mariners have also been rumored to be interested in Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, and with Cano in the fold, they could make either Nick Franklin, Dustin Ackley or Brad Miler available in a trade for an outfielder.
The Mariners are deep in pitching as well, with Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma at the top of their rotation. Add James Paxton and Taijuan Walker to the rotation, and you have to makings of a team that could battle for a wild card spot in 2014 with an improved lineup.
Should the Mariners overpay for Cano? Let's hear your thoughts in the comments section below and make sure you vote in the poll.
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