5 Reasons Why Robinson Cano Deserves $310 Million

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5 Reasons Why Robinson Cano Deserves $310 Million

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Other than the Alex Rodriguez saga, the Robinson Cano free agent sweepstakes is the most polarizing topic in the MLB offseason. Rapper, entrepreneur and new agent Jay Z and his team are reportedly standing by their demand of a 10-year contract worth an astounding $310 million.

The deal would surpass A-Rod’s richest contract in baseball history, a 10-year, $275 million deal.

After a meeting with the New York Yankees, team president Randy Levine remained defiant, exclaiming that there was nothing to talk about until Cano came to his senses and got a little more realistic. It’s evident that the Yankees have no intention to repeat the A-Rod mess again in the future. However, if they let Cano go, they lose the best player on their team, a perennial All-Star who is seemingly in his prime.

Cano and Jay Z were also reported to have met with the New York Mets, joining COO Jeff Wilpon, GM Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco for dinner on Monday. This meeting, which was apparently meant to happen secretly, was leaked soon after and can be thought of as a tool by Cano and his team to gain leverage on his ultimate asking price. It is unlikely, however, for the Mets to make Cano the offer he is looking for.

Both of the New York teams have whiffed so far in the Cano sweepstakes. Here are five reasons why Cano, the best second baseman in baseball, absolutely deserves the money he he asking for.

Dan Karpuc is a college basketball and MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @dan_karpuc, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Cano Is the Best Second Baseman -- Offensively and Defensively

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Defensively, very few second basemen come close to doing what Cano does on a daily basis. Known league-wide for his ease with the glove, Cano has won two Gold Gloves. He holds a career .986 fielding percentage in 6,548 chances.

Offensively, Cano is a 30-home run, 100-RBI threat every season. He joins a very small list of second basemen who are potent offensive weapons.

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4. His Recent Success Speaks For Itself

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During the last four seasons, Cano has been an All-Star and has finished sixth or better in AL MVP voting. Here are his offensive statistics over those seasons:

2010: .319, 29 HRs, 109 RBIs

2011: .302, 28 HRs, 118 RBIs

2012: .313, 33 HRs, 94 RBIs

2013: .314, 27 HRs, 107 RBIs

It’s hard to argue with those numbers.

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3. Cano Has Paid His Dues

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I wish all of us could “pay our dues” by making $15 million per year to play baseball. However, in terms of salary, Cano has been vastly underpaid considering league-wide salaries. His year-by-year salaries are indicative of his growing legacy, but he has waited a long time for the contract that he will receive this offseason. When he was 23-years-old in 2006, he made $381,000. A few years later, when he was established as a starting, productive second baseman, he made a mere $6 million in 2006. Since then, his contract has risen each year to $9 million in 2010, $10 million in 2011, $14 million in 2012 and concluding with his $15 million dollar salary this past season.

Alex Rodriguez ($29 million), Derek Jeter ($17 million), Johan Santana ($25.5 million), Joe Mauer ($23 million), C.C. Sabathia ($23 million), Prince Fielder ($23 million), Adrian Gonzalez ($22 million),Vernon Wells ($18 million), Josh Hamilton ($25 million), and Mark Teixeira ($22.5 million) were among the highest-paid players in MLB last season. Cano is simply better than all of them, and should be paid like it.

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2. He Epitomizes Durability

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Cano has played at least 159 games in each of the last seven seasons. With no history of nagging injuries, he is as safe a bet as possible in terms of durability. In a long regular season, Cano’s regular presence can’t be understated.

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1. Cano Carries a Very Positive Legacy

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Cano has been a member of five All-Star teams and has earned five Silver Sluggers to go with two Gold Gloves. He was second in the league in WAR in 2010 and 2012, which proves his immense impact on of his team’s results. At 31, he has been able to record 1,649 career hits, 204 home runs and 822 RBIs.

In a league filled with a plethora of performance-enhancing drug cases every season, Cano’s name has not come up in any allegations of wrongdoing. He is a very charitable individual and an all-around positive influence on the game. Because of his durability and consistent All-Star caliber play, it would be a shame if he doesn’t get the money he is looking for. If anyone has earned such a contract, it is Cano.