Yesterday, the Yanks introduced their new catcher, Brian McCann. They hope he will add to the great Yankees tradition of Dickey, Berra, Howard, Munson and Posada.
Today, they wave goodbye to maybe the best Yankees second baseman of them all, Robbie Cano. It’s arguable who is best, Lazzeri, Gordon or Cano. Willie Randolph is probably a notch below.
Cano accepted a $240MM, 10 yr. deal with Seattle today.
I just can’t see it. You are paying a middle infielder (who probably won’t be playing that key position after the age of 37) $24 MM at the age of 40? Really? Would Robbie’s talents really translate that well to DH or 1B?
As I wrote earlier this week and wanted you to think about, and think about hard,
ROBBIE CANO PRICED HIMSELF OUT OF THE BRONX.
Read that sentence a few times. Let it soak in a little. Can you think of any player, EVER, that would price himself off of the Yankees. The Yankees?
But that Cano did. Enjoy Seattle, Robbie. You may have kissed Monument Park goodbye. Not to mention Cooperstown.
As Steve Miller sang, ‘”Take the Money and Run.”
It’s all about the buck. Forget about being a team player. Forget that a 7 year, $170MM deal is more than fair. It was all about getting a tenth year. Heck, Seattle thought they had a 9 yr., $225 MM deal all wrapped up, when Jay-Z (ugh) wanted a tenth year and $250MM. Seattle’s owner balked, then caved in.
Let’s think about this.
Yes, the Yanks grossly overpaid for Ellsbury. The Red Sox’ deal w/Crawford was bad, $142MM for 7 years. So the Yanks gave Ellsbury, a similar type player, a $153MM deal for 7 years. More than Crawford. Ummm….
But let’s do some math, here. Cano by himself, 10 years, $240MM.
McCann $85MM for 5 years (option for 6 takes deal to $100MM) and Ellsbury for 7 years at $135MM means $220 MM. $20 MM LESS than what Cano signed for.
Cano for McCann and Ellsbury… at $20MM less.
You can’t put all your eggs in Robbie’s basket. The Yanks have more holes to fill. They could best do that by letting Robbie go. (We won’t get into A-Rod’s deal.)
The Yanks filled depth by signing Kelly Johnson to a 1 year deal, relatively cheap. He can play 2B, hit .235-16-52 last year for the Rays. He could take over at 2B, play 3B, LF, but I see him more as a utility guy.
They also re-signed Kuroda to a one-year deal at $16MM.
Then they made a splash, signing Carlos Beltran to play RF for 3 years (they didn’t want to go there but did) at $45MM.
So now you have an excellent defensive OF of Gardner in LF, Ellsbury in CF and Beltran in RF. Soriano moves to DH.
Some are suggesting Soriano, who started his career at 2B, go back there. Um, NO! He will be 38 next year and hasn’t played 2B since 2005.
BTW, Beltran has 358 career HR—–the same number as Yogi Berra.
You can see a big deal coming, hopefully for pitching. Right now, Ichiro and Wells are backup outfielders. I would rather keep Ichiro, but with two lefty hitters in Gardner and Ellsbury, and a switch-hitter in Beltran, he may be expendable. I hate Wells, but he is the one who could be kept for his lefty bat.
Some think Gardner may be dealt. If so, only to the Reds in a package deal for Brandon Phillips, who would take over second base. You could package a catcher in the deal along w/Gardner. The Reds are losing leadoff hitter Shin-Soo Choo to free agency. Gardner fills a need for a new leadoff hitter. The Reds lost a catcher this week, sending one to the Rays. The Yanks have catching depth behind McCann with Cervelli, Romine, Murphy and Sanchez. Gardner and one of the catchers could be a starting point to get Phillips to replace Cano.
Of course, Johnson could be at 2B, or could go to 3b. But it seems more likely that a trade could be done for Phillips, or the Yanks could be zeroing in on Omar Infante to play second.
Pitching is the key to the kingdom, however, and after re-signing Kuroda, the Yanks still have two rotation spots to fill after CC, Nova and Kuroda. The #5 spot could be a competition between Pineda, Phelps, Warren and Nuno. You could also sign someone like Roy Halladay or Johan Santana to a minor-league deal to see what each has left after major injuries set both back recently (think Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon a few years back, low-risk, high-reward). Matt Garza would be a nice addition for the 4 spot. Of course, I’d prefer Tanaka, but will he be posted at all? Plus, if there will be the $20MM cap for the posting fee, that means his salary then counts against the cap, hurting the Yankees.
Then there is the bullpen. Mo is gone, Logan probably too, and Joba. Some holes there as well.
Will Cano be missed? Sure. But by NOT putting all your eggs in Cano’s basket, you can fill other holes.
The A-Rod deal was a mistake. Both by Texas (original deal) and by the Yankees (renegotiated deal). The Pujols deal will be a bad one. Maybe the Ellsbury deal as well. As also Prince Fielder.
Yay for Robbie for getting the deal. I’d probably take it too. But as for legacy, as I wrote, Monument Park and maybe Cooperstown are maybe no more.
Expect to be walked and pitched around a lot in that lineup, Robbie.
But by not putting all their eggs in Cano’s basket, the Yanks filled other needs.
There will be more moves coming (for example, with the Brendan Ryan and Kelly Johnson deals, Nunez is probably on the block). Pitching needs must be met.
But by NOT caving in Cano, the Yanks can fill more holes than just Robbie, and that may help them get back to the postseason and World Series quicker.
It’s one thing to take the $$$. It’s another to be a team player, recognize that more holes need to be filled to make you a champion again and accept a very fair offer.
In the end, it was all about Robbie (as it is for most players). Robbie’s dad, Jose, mentioned that the Yanks weren’t showing his son much love.
I only wish I was shown 7 years and $170MM of love.
Enjoy Seattle, Robbie. You were great, maybe the best Yankees’ second baseman ever.
Yes, the Yanks probably overpaid for Ellsbury.
But you priced yourself out of the Bronx with your greed, and to that I can only say:
Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.