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!