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Friday, December 6, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Cano to Seattle

By Andrew Marchand



Robinson Cano and the Mariners have agreed to a 10-year, $240 million deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com.

WHAT IT MEANS: A source told ESPNNewYork.com on Friday that Cano informed Yankees teammates he was going to the highest bidder, that's it. Well, that is exactly what he has done, taking off for the beautiful city of Seattle because of one reason -- they offered him the third-largest contract in baseball history.

The Yankees' final offer was seven years and $170 million. The Yankees privately vowed they would not go to $200 million -- and they didn't. It might not have mattered even if they had.

While he is now unimaginably richer, he will be much farther from his family and home in the Dominican. His Yankees legacy remains incomplete. Fans might focus on his lack of hustle instead of his durability and his All-Star caliber bat and glove.

WHAT IS NEXT: The Yankees plan to plow the money that was targeted for Cano into other areas of the team. One idea is to go after Shin-Soo Choo. With Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Choo, the Yankees believe they could make up for the loss of Cano's bat.

They also could try to go after Carlos Beltran, though sources have said they won't go three years for the outfielder. However, a source said early Friday morning that Beltran is "definitely down the road" with another unidentified team. It could be his old club, the Kansas City Royals, who have been closely linked to Beltran.

Plus, if they sign Choo or Beltran, they could change plans and deal Brett Gardner.

As for second base, the Yankees have a two-pronged plan there. They have agreed to a contract with the left-handed hitting Kelly Johnson for about $3 million. Johnson hit 16 homers in 366 at-bats for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2013; Cano hit 27 in 605 at-bats. Johnson could be the Yankees' starting second baseman, though he is not a good fielder, especially compared to Cano.

They have had talks with Omar Infante's agent. Infante could be an option for second or third, with Alex Rodriguez's future in limbo. They also could function as sort of every-day players who frequently move positions.

WHO IS GOING TO PITCH? The Yankees are close to a deal with Hiroki Kuroda for about $16 million. He will become their third definite starter (CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova are the other two). More important, they look like they will be all in again for Masahiro Tanaka, if he is posted. That Cano dough definitely could go toward Tanaka on the open market.

STAR BUCKS: Cano has always been a little closer to A-Rod than Derek Jeter. As one source said, this move is out of the "A-Rod playbook." Rodriguez famously went to Texas for 10 years and $252 million.

The Mariners' hope is that Cano can be the offensive force to lead them into the postseason. Their history is a bit different than that of the Yankees -- Seattle has never been to the World Series.

If Cano went to Jay Z/CAA because he wanted more endorsements, going all the way to Washington doesn't seem to make too much sense. Of course, who needs endorsements when you have $240 million?

NO. 24: That number was Ken Griffey Jr.'s in Seattle, so Cano will have to pick a new jersey. He might want to go with 240, because that is going to be the number that defines him in the short term. It is not the worst thing in the world.