If there is a shining star peeking through the grey clouds for the New York Yankees, it is second baseman Robinson Cano.
Cano is in the last year of his contract with the Yankees and all signs are pointing to this being his best season ever. This is great for the Yankees and exactly what they need this season, but it is a double-edged sword for the organization.
As much as the Yankees need Cano to step up and carry this team, every time he hits a homer, drives in the winning run, or makes a great play in the field — his value increases. If Cano has the season the Yankees need to be a competitive team, his price tag will reach a level Hal Steinbrenner says he doesn’t want to go to.
It is obvious the Yankees are heading in the direction of having to rebuild the team. The only way this works for the Yankees is if they build the team around Cano.
The Yankees have already had problems getting Cano to sign a deal. If he rips it up this season, is it possible he plays another in pinstripes?
The offer the Yankees made to Cano in the off-season was rejected by Cano and his agent Scott Boras –not a good sign for the organization in moving forward. There are no factual numbers on how much that contract offer was, but knowing the Yankees, they were offering Cano a nice sum of money to keep him a Yankee for the rest of his career.
The team of Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman may have changed their ways, but they can’t be complete idiots, can they? It is hard to believe they do not see how valuable Cano is, not only on the field, but off. Cano is next in line to be the face of this franchise and losing him would be a big blow in many ways.
When a team is rebuilding, they usually need to sign or trade for a player like Cano, and the great part for the Yankees is that they have a Cano already in the clubhouse. Not giving him whatever Boras wanted was a foolish move made by the Yankees.
Boras is a slime ball and he has the Yankees right where he wants them. Giving Cano the opportunity to go out and even have a chance to have a great season only gives Boras more leverage.
Starting today, Cano is on an open audition for every team in the league. As much as the Yankees need to lean heavily on him to carry them, they also know his price will rise faster than the national debt if he does all they need from him this season.
Even though he may like playing in New York, Cano will not give the Yankees a hometown discount. If Steinbrenner is even thinking that, he is more foolish than anyone could imagine. The Yankees need to get something together now, because this little game they are playing could cost them more than money.
It isn’t that Cano is the cure-all. The Yankees will need to make moves, but having Cano to build around will just make it a lot easier for the organization.
Yankees’ management will try to convince fans that taking a chance with a long-term contract again is bad for the organization, and they will use the Alex Rodriguez mess to give merit to their argument. What they need to realize is that the Yankees need Cano for many reasons, not just what he does on the field.