Magic Johnson, the co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said today that they will not pursue New York Yankees’ standout second baseman, Robinson Cano. The reason for this is because they want to re-sign players on their current roster, most notably Clayton Kershaw, who is regarded as the best starting pitcher in baseball. Kershaw could be the first player in sports history to get a $300 million contract.
The irony in this is that Cano asked for $305 million as his first price in what should be a lengthy negotiation process. But, it is good news for the Yanks that the Dodgers are out of the Cano sweepstakes, because they have become what the Yankees used to be: an all-costs spender in order to win a championship.
The Yankees are the favorites, as of now, to retain Cano, but it is not a foregone conclusion that he will make his home in New York. He has said that he will not take a hometown discount and there will always be sleeper teams that think a huge signing could change the fortune of their franchise. The Yankees used to be a team that lay in the weeds and pounced without notice — think Mark Teixeira in the 2008 offseason. There was no knowledge of the Yankees being in the bidding for Tex, especially after acquiring Nick Swisher, who was thought to be their first baseman for the next few years.
But, the Yankees are not that team anymore, as they keep saying. They’re trying to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold. Still, the Dodgers bowing out is a good omen for the Yanks, because they were thought to be the co-favorites to sign Cano. As I said before though, Cano is not automatically going to be back in the Bronx, and it will be interesting to see what other teams decide to get in on the bidding, especially because Jay-Z would love to get a huge contract for the first baseball superstar that has latched on to his new agency.