Robinson Cano reportedly wants a $305 million, 10-year contract from the New York Yankees this winter. Perhaps he’s listened to that Alicia Keys song one too many times. In his Empire State of Mind he wants $300 million … but it’s not going to happen.
A contract of that amount would surpass even the 10-year, $275 million deal the Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez in 2007. That has turned out so well, the Yankees are trying to get out of it – with four years remaining. This summer, the club did everything in its power to smear the third baseman, hoping baseball would suspend him for life so they could get out from under the final $80+ million owed.
In 2012, the Angels inked Albert Pujols to an absurd 9-year, $240 million deal. It has quickly become the worst contract in baseball.
Notice a trend?
More pertinent is the Yankees’ desire to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. If they were sign Cano to a $30 million per year deal, it would push their 2014 payroll to $119 million with just these players under contract: Cano, Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Ichiro, Vernon Wells, Alfonso Soriano, CC Sabathia and Derek Jeter. If it were 2004, not 2014, that’s a team you’d like to roll with. But that aging group still needs a lot – and it wouldn’t leave New York much room to sign any other free agents and current players like David Robertson and Brett Gardner.
If the Yankees are serious about getting under $189 there’s no conceivable way they sign Cano to a deal in the $30 million per-year range, even if he’s their best player. Team president Randy Levine hinted earlier this year Cano wasn’t a “re-sign at any cost” player.” Who else is going to hand him $20+ million per season, or the $30 million he is seeking? Everyone is going to link Cano to the Dodgers, but are they going to want to outlay all that money with Clayton Kershaw poised to hit the market after the 2014 season? Two other big market teams – Boston and Philadelphia – already have second baseman. The Angels aren’t going to drop more money on a huge contract.
This $305 million figure floated out today feels like pure posturing by Cano and his new agency company, Roc Nation Sports.