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Cano, Yankees at a contract standoff

Updated: February 20, 2013, 11:27 AM ET
By Buster Olney

SARASOTA, Fla. -- There have been no big shifts in the New York Yankees' early contract discussions with Robinson Cano. This is what team owner Hal Steinbrenner told the Associated Press on Tuesday:

"We expressed to [agent] Scott [Boras] how much we like Robbie and what a great Yankee he's been, and we hope he continues his career here for a long time to come. We just indicated to him on a very preliminary basis that we were willing to consider a significant long-term contract, and left it at that. There's really nothing to report since then."

The Yankees and the Steinbrenners' next generation have taken some lumps this winter for the team's recent austerity, for the push to get to a $189 million payroll for 2014. But whatever happens in the Cano negotiations won't be impacted by that recent fiscal discipline; the Yankees can always structure the deal so Cano is paid a salary that is workable within their 2014 budget, with a whole lot more riches coming later. Once the Yankees get to the $189 million threshold, they will likely grow their payroll markedly thereafter.

So the Yankees' negotiations with Cano will really come down to two significant factors:


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