The New York Yankees are at a cross-road right now; the direction they head will decide the fate of the team for the next decade. The team has one of the best players in the game, Robinson Cano, only signed until the end of this season. The fact they have not already taken care of Cano is pathetic, and it doesn’t just show the new way Hal Steinbrenner wants to run the Yankees, it shows total disrespect by Steinbrenner to Cano as a player.
Steinbrenner had the nerve to come out and insult the intelligence of all Yankee fans and say that the 2013 Yankees were a “championship caliber team”. He also said that ownership wanted to get payroll down, but not if it hurt the team’s chances at winning a World Series.
This man is a disgrace to the Steinbrenner name. The Yankees do not have to go out and spend like they did when George Steinbrenner was running the team, but at the very least, he should be honest with the fans that pay good money to watch the Yankees. Hal needs a little reminder that if the fans do not show up, his biggest worry will not be about getting the team’s salary down.
Hal has been flip-flopping on the Cano contract since day one; one day he will come out and say the Yankees do not want to talk about a contract until after the season, then a day later, he will say the team is working on a deal to keep Cano a Yankee for life. Hal has no idea how to run a team; luckily for him, he has a great general manager who does, and is very good at putting together a good team. If Steinbrenner did not have Brian Cashman, the entire baseball world would see how horrible of an owner he really is. Cashman’s ability to handle George Steinbrenner, surely makes dealing with Hal seem like a walk in the park; it is time for Cashman to step in and get this Cano deal done.
The Yankees are dealing with everyone’s favorite agent Scott Boras, so when Hal tells the media that he told Boras, “how much we like Robby and what a great Yankee he’s been, and we hope he continues his career here for a long time,” all that love Robby stuff means to Boras is, show me the money.
Steinbrenner telling the media he has talked to Boras and told him the Yankees were willing to consider a long-term contract and then doing nothing has Boras with the phone in his hand, calling the rest of the league, preparing them for the Cano free-agent battle after the season.
This isn’t just some agent Steinbrenner is dealing with here. Once Cano ditched his other agent and moved in with the big boy of sports, the Yankees had to know they were in for a long, drawn out fight for Cano.
Right now, as Steinbrenner is trying to win the media battle with Boras, saying all the right things about Cano, none of it matters to Boras. All Boras cares about is the zero’s at the end of Cano’s contract.
Even though the Yankees are a season away from losing Cano, if they do not sure him up before the start of the season, they will lose him when it ends. Cano is going to have a break-out year and the Yankees are really going to be on the hook; all the power will be in the corner of team Cano.
Cano is going to approach this season as a way to showcase who he is to the rest of the league. Steinbrenner has to know, to keep Cano, he is going to want a huge contract, which would go against everything Steinbrenner has said about what he wants next season’s salary to be. The problem with this particular situation is if the Yankees lose Cano, they lose more than a great player; they lose out on any chance of rebuilding a “championship caliber team” in the next decade.
So as the weather gets warm and the team gets ready for the 2013 season, the issue Yankee fans should be worrying about is what the team would be like without Cano. The Yankees are now Cano’s team to carry and without him, they will have no chance of being competitive; so Hal, for the sake of all Yankee fans, show Cano the money.
Nik Swartz is the Featured Columnist for the New York Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @Sweetnesz13