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Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Sources: Cano game plan remains the same

By Andrew Marchand



With Jacoby Ellsbury on the way in, it may seem that Robinson Cano is closer to the way out, but that is not how the Yankees see it.

Sources have told ESPN New York the Yankees still plan to keep their ultimate offer to Cano in the seven-year, $175 million range. That is unchanged from before the Ellsbury talks heated up this week.

If Cano can get $200 million someplace else, the Yankees will let him walk.

"Now it's a question of, does [Cano] want to be a Yankee, or is he just about the money?" a baseball insider told Wallace Matthews.

The Yankees' offer is not going down, because they are hoping to sweep the top of their free-agent board. A source said that after Cano, the Yankees had the already-signed Brian McCann as their No. 1 target with Ellsbury next. There was an initial plan to go after Carlos Beltran because they hoped he could be nabbed on a two-year deal, but the Yankees knew they may have to change course depending on the market.

With Beltran reportedly looking at three years and $48 million elsewhere, the Yankees thought that was too rich and long for a soon-to-be 37-year-old with his injury history. Instead, they have gone for Ellsbury.

Meanwhile, they are bringing in second baseman Kelly Johnson as insurance and potentially as a utility man. They have had substantial talks with Omar Infante, who could be plan B if Cano leaves.

Despite being pessimistic, the Yankees don't want Cano to go, but if he can get $200 million or more elsewhere, they seem prepared to say goodbye. That was the position before the Ellsbury move and it is the same after.