Jeter said he congratulated Cano after the All-Star second baseman left the New York Yankees to sign a 10-year, $240 million free-agent contract with the Seattle Mariners, "and I'll leave it at that."
"Yeah [Robbie's] happy, wouldn't you be happy? That's a lot of money," Jeter joked Monday night at a Steiner Memorabilia Event featuring the "Core Four" -- Jeter, catcher Jorge Posada, pitcher Andy Pettitte and closer Mariano Rivera -- in downtown Manhattan. "I've been paying for breakfast, lunch and dinner all these years. He gets paid and he leaves, so I'll get him in Seattle, I guess."
Jeter said he wasn't surprised by Cano's decision to leave, but will clearly miss his old double-play partner. Jeter thinks extremely highly of Cano.
"I learned a long time ago I'm not going to be surprised by anything," Jeter said. "With Robbie, I played with him for nine years. He's the second baseman I've spent the longest time with, so I'm going to miss him a lot. We got pretty close throughout the years, but I understand it's a business. I wish him the best. Everyone knows how I feel about him as a player. I would've liked to have played with him longer, but it's a business and guys move on."
Jeter did not call Cano to try and convince him to stay.
"I've never called anyone to try and convince them to come," Jeter said. "There's nothing to sell Robbie on or sell anyone on. I think you know what it is. I'm sure he had enough people in his ears. I speak with Robbie, I speak with him a lot, but I would never try to convince anyone."
Jeter, 39, has spent his entire 18-year career in pinstripes, and hoped Cano would want to do the same.
"I mean, I thought he would," Jeter said. "I think a lot of people thought he would. But I don't know all the details of what happened. I'd be speaking prematurely if I were to comment on what went down between those two sides. I have no clue. That's a better question for Robbie, but I think a lot of people hoped he was gonna be here. Like I said, whatever reason, he's made his decision."
"We've made some good [moves]," Jeter said. "McCann I know because I played with him in the WBC [World Baseball Classic]. And the other two guys I know just from playing against them. I don't know them personally, but we've made some good moves."
Jeter doesn't think Ellsbury leaving the Boston Red Sox to sign with the Yankees is a big deal.
"I mean it happened with Wade Boggs, it happened with [Roger] Clemens, it happened with Johnny [Damon]. It's happened a lot throughout the years so the newness of that has worn off," Jeter said. "I'm pretty sure from a fan standpoint it might be a little different, but for us as players, we've pretty much gotten used to guys moving from team to team."
Jeter is confident in general manager Brian Cashman. The Yankees are far from a finished product, and are looking to add two starting pitchers, a second baseman to replace Cano and perhaps a third baseman as well with Alex Rodriguez's status in doubt given his 211-game suspension (pending appeal) for violating the sport's drug policy.
"He's done a lot," Jeter said of Cashman. "Like I said, I don't know what they're gonna do, what they're planning on doing from this point forward. Really, I do not try to pay much attention to it until we sign someone or trade for someone. But yeah, nothing surprises me, and until we get to spring training we'll wait and see."
Jeter was happy for his former manager, Joe Torre, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame Monday.
"Well deserved. I think you ask anyone they'll tell you that," Jeter said. "You talk about his playing career, his managerial career. Everybody knows how close I am with him so it's well deserved."
Jeter spoke with Torre after learning of Torre's induction.
"He's pretty excited," Jeter said.
Jeter played in just 17 games last season because of a re-occurring left ankle injury.
"I feel good. Everything's good. I'm good to go," Jeter said.
Jeter began working out earlier than he usually does, but plans to begin baseball activities in January as usual.