- Wallace Matthews, ESPN Staff Writer
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TAMPA, Fla. -- The New York Yankees have "made a significant offer'' to Robinson Cano in an attempt to avoid getting into a bidding war for the All-Star second baseman's services this winter, according to general manager Brian Cashman.
While it was clear the offer had not been accepted, Cashman would not say whether it had been rejected or was still being considered.
"We've made a significant offer. That's what I thought Hal [Steinbrenner] said to everybody,'' Cashman said Thursday in the press box at Steinbrenner Field, where he had just concluded a radio interview. "I'm not going to comment anymore. I thought Hal announced that we made a significant offer. And we've had a few conversations. I thought I was restating Hal's stuff. If I said a little more, that's all I'm saying.''
Cashman's statement represents an advance in the story from last week, when it was reported that the team owner had said the Yankees "were willing to consider'' a significant offer to Cano, who will be a free agent after this season.
According to the GM, the offer was made to Cano and his agent, Scott Boras, who responded to a request for comment with a text message to ESPNNewYork.com.
"Robinson is focused on preparing for and playing the 2013 season," Boras said. "By agreement, discussions shall remain confidential. Also by agreement, discussions will cease if they are a distraction to Robinson's performance and leadership of the 2013 Yankees.''
Last week, ESPNNewYork.com reported that the Yankees did not expect Cano to agree to a contract extension without first testing the free-agent market. Cano is playing the 2013 season on a club option that will pay him $15 million.
"Robbie and I have had several conversations with the Yankees,'' Boras told ESPNNewYork.com last week, "and we plan to continue the dialogue.''
Cashman would not say when the conversations took place, when the previous time the two parties spoke, or if any further conversations were planned. "I've got nothing else to say,'' Cashman said. "I already gave you enough.''
Cano, a .308 career hitter who batted .313 with 33 home runs and 94 RBIs last season, is expected to seek a long-term deal comparable to the contracts signed by Joe Votto ($225 million for 10 years) and Albert Pujols (10 years, $240 million).
8hTony Lee, Special to ESPN.com