NEW YORK -- When Jay Z requests your company at dinner, it's best you go, even if it's just to chew the fat.
The entertainer and fledgling agent met with New York Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco for dinner Monday night to discuss free-agent client Robinson Cano. The New York Post reported on the meeting, which was later confirmed by ESPNNewYork.com.
A source familiar with the get-together said the Mets accepted the invitation to meet with Jay Z because the entertainer is a new agent. The club was caught off guard with how quickly it leaked to the media that the meeting took place and understands the motivation for it becoming public is to attempt to drive up Cano's asking price, the source added.
A deal materializing between the Mets and Cano, who is expected to command a lucrative contract, would appear highly implausible, however.
It was Cano's side, according to the report, that initiated the meeting, seemingly looking for real or perceived bidders to nudge the crosstown New York Yankees into being more aggressive in trying to retain the five-time All-Star second baseman.
The Mets have been on austerity for years. The largest contract Alderson has handed out to a free agent in four offseasons as the Mets' general manager was to Frank Francisco, who received a two-year, $12 million contract during the 2011-12 offseason.
A Mets source recently told ESPNNewYork.com that the team's 2014 payroll is expected to be between $85 million and $90 million.
At last week's GM Meetings in Orlando, Fla., Alderson all but ruled the Mets out of having a second $100 million contract on the books alongside captain David Wright's eight-year, $138 million deal -- much less the $300 million contract Cano reportedly seeks.
"We've been in that stratosphere once recently with David Wright," Alderson said. "Those were special circumstances. I think it would be difficult to duplicate that again -- not from a financial standpoint, just in terms of team building.
"I think it's difficult to concentrate those kinds of resources into very few players. It's not really the way you build a quality, sustainable, winning team, I don't think."