At some point after this season, the New York Yankees will be faced with the decision to pay Robinson Cano $20 million per season for the next eight years or let him go and potentially allow a team like the Los Angeles Dodgers to blow them out of the water with a $200 million deal.
As a Boston Red Sox fan, this is something that you love to see. Whether Cano stays with the Yankees or goes to another team, the Red Sox still have Dustin Pedroia for potentially another two seasons and there has already been talk of the sides coming together on another extension before Pedroia hits free agency.
The price tag for Pedroia during the 2014 and 2015 seasons combined? $21 million. Likely the amount that Cano will command for 2014 alone.
For all of the press and publicity that Cano receives, Pedroia is the better all-around player and younger as well. Cano may be the flashier player, but Pedroia far more resembles Yankees’ icon Derek Jeter.
Pedroia is the type of player that hustles on every play, playing with a fiery passion that is easy to admire as a fan of the Red Sox. In comparison, Cano seems to be the type of player that turns it on at certain moments. Spectacular at one point and then unengaged the next.
Given the relative difference in power between the two, it is somewhat surprising to see that there isn’t much of a difference between the career WAR of Cano 34.8 to that of Pedroia 30.7, especially given that Cano is a year older and has played an extra season.
Defensively, Cano has more range, but Pedroia makes more plays as evidenced with his higher fielding percentage and fewer errors.
Base running is another area where Pedroia consistently beats Cano, holding a 102 to 31 advantage in career stolen bases.
More talented player? Cano, by a mile. But, Pedroia gets as much out of his talent as he possibly can and tends to run into issues with simply not being satisfied with that.
If the Yankees or another team decide to spend twice as much on Cano in the coming years, even better for the Red Sox.
Both players are great, but if you are asking me which one I would build around and want the younger players on my roster to emulate, that’s a no-brainer; Pedroia.