Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why Robinson Cano did the right thing in going to Seattle (and the Yankees have no plan and no clue)

Earth to Yankee fans: our fanbase never has the right to complain about a player going for the money, least of all Robinson Cano, who actually was paid below market value as a Yankee (he never made more than $15 million a year). As if all the free agents over the years who got big salaries in the Bronx only did it for a chance to play in pinstripes, and money wasn't a consideration.

One blogger even wrote a list of the many reasons that Cano wasn't a "true Yankee," and listed No. 1 as him going for the money! (Oh, and please, stop with the crazy notion that Carlos Beltran took a pay cut to be a Yankee -- he got a three-year deal worth $45 million, after the Yanks initially insisted he wouldn't get more than two years, which means we will have him stumbling around the outfield when he is almost 40. That's the "financial flexibility" not signing Cano got the Yankees -- the ability to give Beltran a third year!)

Newsflash: this "love of the game" and "love of the pinstripes" stuff is a fantasy. And don't give the Core Four argument, as one deluded Yankee fan did with me this weekend. (She blocked me on Facebook when I pointed out that contrary to her assertion that the Core Four never left the team for more money, Andy Pettitte actually did just that!) And the other three members of the Core Four all were the highest-paid at the time at their positions. Besides, last time I checked, Derek Jeter got a new $12 million deal for 2014 after having all of 12 hits in 2013, when his contract option only entitled him to make $9.5 million. Does that make him not a "true Yankee"?

Unlike the sizeable contingent of ungrateful Yankee fans out there, who are now acting like Robinson Cano is some bum who wasn't even as good as Chuck Knoblauch (yes, I actually heard a Yankee fan say that the other day!) I realize what a talent Cano is, and I will miss him very much. But it is best for him that he went to Seattle, especially with the way some Yankee fans are falling over themselves to make him baseball's greatest monster now.

Let's face it -- if Cano had stayed in pinstripes, he would have become the designated Yankee scapegoat once this team tanks -- as it inevitably will. Especially given that A-Rod may not be playing next year. Cano, despite being homegrown, will never be as beloved as Jeter.

As for his skills, is Cano Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout? No. But who is? Cano is a top-five player, though.

Helpful hint to Brian Cashman: If you had really wanted to sign Cano, you would have 1) not offered him only  10 to 15% more than you did Jacoby Ellsbury, who had exactly one elite season, and 2) not told the media last month about how Cano "loves the money." (And you don't, Bri?)

But Cano is supposed to leave $65 million on the table for the love of the pinstripes. Why? So the very fans decrying him now could boo him next year when the team stinks?

We never hear Cashman challenge the Ichiros or the Beltrans of the world that if they really want to be Yankees, they can forgot about those extra contract years. No, only Cano is supposed to do that.

Look, I actually would think that not signing Cano would make perfect sense, if the Yankees 1) had new, competent leadership at the helm, and had  gotten rid of Brian Cashman, Randy Levine, Damon Oppenheimer, and Mark Newman, 2) were willing to be mediocre to bad for the next few years while they replenished their farm system and rebuilt the team slowly, and 3) stopped signing old and injury-ridden players.

But instead, we have the worst of all worlds. Not including A-Rod's salary, which could be off the books in 2014, the Yanks are already very close to that $189 million Hal mandate. And they are still missing at least one starter, a second baseman, and maybe a third baseman.

Plus, in burning the furniture by signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran (I am fine with the McCann deal, although they probably did overpay), the Yanks are losing draft picks for the future.

And , you know, other teams fill holes by bringing up guys from the minors. The Yankees don't really have any major-league players to bring up. And things are likely to get even worse, the way they are going.

Of course, you could say that the Yankees are going to ignore that $189 million cap and just spend, spend, spend. Well, if that is the case, then why not sign Cano as well? Why have all these machinations to get rid of A-Rod?  

Run, Robinson, run! You made the right move leaving the Bronx. Good luck in Seattle!


les millman said...

Are you doing drugs? The endorsements Cano will not get in Seattle is more than 65a million. Besides he may languish with a mediocre team. Ask Junior

Subway Squawkers said...


First of all, there is no way Cano would make that type of endorsement money anywhere, let alone New York. Even Derek Jeter doesn't make that sort of endorsement money. And I don't remember Cano having endorsements in his decade as a Yankee in the first place.

Second, there is no state or city income tax in Washington, so Cano will gain another $24 million or so over the course of the contract.

Third, Junior left in 1999, before the Mariners became a last-place team.

danny said...

Finally a person who is not a goober. The biggest issue for Cano was Clueless Joe, the Yankees retained the worst manager for young players and it cost them an elite 2nd baseman. This is 65 win team at best, I argue that they need 3 starters and players at all the infield positions add in Clueless Joe and 100 losses is within reach.

Uncle Mike said...

At the risk of sounding like Felix Unger… Oh, Lisa, Lisa, Lisa!

First of all, you’re assuming things are “inevitable,” like the Yankees “tanking” and Beltran “stumbling around.” Again, at the risk of sounding like Felix, Never assume.

Second of all, if Andy left for the money, why didn’t he go to Boston, or San Francisco, or the Cubs, or either of the L.A. teams? They had more money to offer than Houston, and were willing to spend it. At that point, so were the Mets, and he wouldn’t have had to move. He wanted to go home to Houston. When it became clear the Astros didn’t want him anymore, did he go back to one of the other big-spending teams? No, he came back to where he was loved, the Yankees.

Third of all, you’re citing Ellsbury having “exactly one elite season”? Refresh my memory: Were you one of the people clamoring for Cliff Lee? He has since proven himself to be far removed from being elite, and has fallen back to what he was, very, very average.

Finally, why would you wish Cano good luck? Unlike Curtis Granderson, who’s going to The Other Team in the other league, we have to play the Mariners more than 4 times in a season, and they’ve given us trouble ever since they came into the league in 1977 – regardless of how either team was doing at the time. We should be wishing poor performance on him. Is that poor sportsmanship? I don’t care. He left us, so until he retires, and we have to decide whether to welcome him back on Old-Timers’ Day, I say the heck with him.

But you’re right that he made the right move in leaving. Thank you for 2009, Robbie, but good riddance, and I hope the Safeco roof leaks and all that Seattle rain gets in and drips on your swelled head.

Pizza Guy said...

A 65-win team at best? So nearly 100-loss team? I hope you're going to report back to us next fall either to say "I told you so" or (far more likely, IMO), "I was flat out wrong about that one."

Aviv said...
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Aviv said...
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Aviv said...

Lisa, you are spot on, though I think the McCann signing is going to blow up much sooner than later.

And the endorsement argument is just plain silly. The world has become much smaller thanks to cable, the 24-hour news cycle and the internet. Market size has really become irrelevant when it comes to endorsement deals.

Being in small markets did not hurts Peyton Manning in Indianapolis, nor has it hurt Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay. And Junior had no problems getting endorsements in Seattle.

Cano's issues with endorsements have little to do with where he plays and more to do with his command of English, which while greatly improved, still makes it hard to serve as a pitchman.

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