- Adam Rubin, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- General manager Sandy Alderson acknowledged meeting with Jay Z and his associates about free agent Robinson Cano on Monday night but portrayed the likelihood of the New York Mets signing the second baseman as virtually nil.
"They requested a meeting," Alderson said Tuesday afternoon. "We had a nice dinner. They made a presentation. We talked generally. And that was it. As I said, we were approached."
Alderson, who was joined by Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon and assistant GM John Ricco at the dinner meeting, reiterated what he said last week at the GM meetings: The Mets already have one $100 million-plus contract with captain David Wright and are highly unlikely to add a second contract at that level -- much less a deal in the neighborhood Cano is seeking, which is reported to be $310 million.
"I had said last week that I didn't foresee contracts in the $100 million range for the Mets this offseason," Alderson said. "I think that statement still pertains. On the other hand, we are committed to improving the team. And we will explore whatever possibilities arise, however remote the eventual outcome."
Alderson said no contract terms were discussed during the meeting, which also included Jay Z associate Brodie Van Wagenen.
"It was a well-prepared presentation designed to sell us and presumably other teams on Cano's value," Alderson said. "We certainly have a high regard for Robinson Cano as a player. So in that sense, the presentation was a little bit overdone.
"But, again, it was a very preliminary meeting. They're having, or hope to have, preliminary meetings with a number of different teams."
Word of the meeting leaked to media shortly after it took place, presumably to try to create pressure on the New York Yankees to increase their bidding to retain Cano. The Yankees have been averse to bidding against themselves.
Alderson said he calculated the fact that the Mets could be used for such a purpose into whether to accept Jay Z's invitation. Ultimately, Alderson decided that meeting the agent would be worthwhile.
"It wasn't terribly surprising that the fact of the meeting became known within minutes of dessert," Alderson said. "Yeah, we factored that in. On the other hand, there are very few things that you can expect to be kept confidential.
"I think you have to go into these situations with the understanding that at some point they will become public. But at the same time, we felt it would be useful enough for us to meet Jay Z and Brodie, whether it's in connection with Robinson Cano or some future client that they may have. So I'm not surprised it became public. And that certainly factored into our decision to have the meeting, but didn't deter us."
Alderson said Jay Z was active in pitching his client, not deferring to his baseball-tested colleagues.
"He was actively engaged," Alderson said. "… PowerPoint. Books. Pamphlets."
6hRandy Jennings, Special to ESPN.com