While fantasies of trading Alex Rodriguez elsewhere have dominated the collective mind in the wake of the Yankees’ disappointing exit from the playoffs, the biggest long term financial concern for Brian Cashman right now is the status of Robinson Cano. The Yankees’ best player has a $15 million option for 2013 that the team will undoubtedly pick up, but after that he’s eligible for free agency, and could be hitting the open market as a cream of the crop player at a time when more teams than ever are flush with cash. Ideally, the Yankees would work out an extension with Cano before it comes to that, but based on this report from Joel Sherman, they shouldn’t expect any early bird discounts fro their second baseman:
Whenever I have asked about his financial goals, Cano always has said he is not concentrating on that subject. Yet a few members of the team told me Cano has said he is expecting a 10-year contract at top-of-the-market dollars. In a conversation with me yesterday, Boras also did not give numbers, but it was clear he expects his client to be treated financially like one of the great players in the game.
In other words, he’ll be happy to sign with the Yankees now, but only for premium dollars. The idea that Cano would take a discount has always been something akin to wishful thinking, at least since he signed up with Scott Boras aheda of what’s likely to be his only crack at free agency. Simply put: Players don’t hire Boras if they want to leave money on the table. What this does mean, however, is that Cano almost certainly has no plans of foregoing free agency. He’s not likely to get a 10 year contract from anyone, but if that’s what he’s going to ask for if the Yankees open negotiations with him now, he’s essentially charging the Yankees a premium for keeping him off of the free agent market and out of the clutches of other franchises. I doubt the Yankees bite on that, in which case they’ll have to contend with all comers for Cano next season.