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Monday, December 2, 2013
Source: Nothing to talk about with Cano

By Andrew Marchand

Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano might need to come down from his lofty contract demands.
What is $80 million between friends? Well, it is enough that the Yankees and the agents for Robinson Cano are not meeting or doing very much talking at the moment, a source told ESPNNewYork.com.

The Yankees have stated every which way that they won't go near an Alex Rodriguez-like contract. Hal Steinbrenner said they won't do 10 years. Randy Levine said there will be no $300 million.

So, although CAA/Jay Z have lowered their numbers from the "we'll forget the free-agent market for a mere $310 million" to a contract that is basically like A-Rod's first 10-year, $252 million, the Yankees don't feel like there is anything to talk about until Cano comes down.

The Yankees are currently at seven years and $160 million, and might be willing to up that slightly to get Cano to $170 million, and maybe even a bit higher if another year is added. But they are not going to bid against themselves and, even if there is another team, they seem determined not to do a contract they aren't comfortable signing.

Meanwhile, no other possible suitors have been publicly identified. Insider Paul Swydan thinks the Washington Nationals make some sense. He writes:

Furthermore, the only player that the Nats have on the books after 2017 is Ryan Zimmerman, and in 2016, the only other players who currently have major salaries on the books are Werth and Gio Gonzalez. Washington likes to promote from within, but most of its top prospects got just a tiny taste of Double-A last season, if they got there at all. There isn't a top prospect coming in April, so the team needs to supplement externally.

The Nationals are a wealthy team, and they will become even more so after their MASN contract dispute with the Orioles is resolved. They had a high payroll last season, but as this chart shows, it certainly wasn't unreasonable. Adding Cano to the mix is a move that makes sense for the team on the field and on the balance sheet, and if that wasn't enough, it would be a nice shot in the eye to the rival Atlanta Braves, who currently have a giant question mark at second base in Dan Uggla.


Until Cano brings some heat and shows that he has another big-time offer, the Yankees appear as if they will stick with what they deem a very fair offer. In fact, from what I've been told, if Cano finds a much larger deal, the Yankees will walk away from him.

Meanwhile, they have offered Hiroki Kuroda a contract and remain very engaged with the agents for Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew, Omar Infante and Joe Nathan. A source said they are willing to do deals with any one of them now.

QUESTION: What would be your best offer for Cano?