Saturday, December 8, 2012
Cano to go? Who knows?
By Wallace Matthews
It's amazing how people who never could have predicted what Robinson Cano would do from one game to the next now presume to know what the Yankees second baseman will do a year from now.
But that is what the story in today's New York Daily News purports to do, quoting two industry sources as saying Cano is unlikely to be a Yankee in 2014 after he becomes a free agent at the conclusion of the 2013 season.
They are basing that opinion, presumably, on the Yankees' lack of spending this offseason and the looming $189 million Hal-imposed payroll cap for 2014. That, and the fact that Cano is represented by Scott Boras, who always fights for the last penny on the table.
OK, let's give this devil its due. Any player entering free agency could very well wind up with another team, and often does. But predicting what Cano will do a year from now is likely to prove as accurate as the predictions for him before the postseason, which he entered as one of the hottest hitters in the history of professional baseball.
Had you asked anyone how Cano would perform in the postseason, the prediction would have been that he would crush. He wound up going 3-for-40 (.075), which tells you the value of baseball predictions, even those seemingly rooted in solid logic.
As for the Boras factor, the super-agent has already gone on record as saying the Yankees, as the preeminent franchise in pro sports, should not be cutting payroll, but increasing it. The number he has used is $300 million, which would make life very good for Scott Boras. He is not above sending out warning shots -- "Cano may bolt Yankees next year!" says a source -- in fact, it is a tried-and-true tactic of agents in every entertainment field.
And besides, when is the last time having Scott Boras as an agent kept the Yankees from signing a player they wanted? Or maybe didn't want? I offer into evidence Alex Rodriguez and Rafael Soriano, and rest my case on that point, your honor.
Then there is the most obvious point of all -- that maybe the reason the Yankees aren't spending much money this winter, and are clearly reluctant to enter into any multiyear deals, is precisely because they are conserving their "dwindling resources" -- yes, I feel silly typing those words -- to make sure they have enough to hold onto Cano next year.
In any event, yes, Robinson Cano might not be a Yankee in 2014. And Alex Rodriguez might hit 75 home runs. But I wouldn't bet on either of those propositions.