The Seattle Mariners have signed Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million contract, and it might be the best move the New York Yankees didn’t make this offseason. Reportedly offering Cano up to $175 million, the Yankees now have a large sum of money which could be used in a variety of ways.
Holes that need to be addressed include pitching, third base and now, obviously, second base. Every team in MLB should now fear the Yankees for the rest of the offseason. New York went from a team that had possibly tied up the majority of its money on three players to now the quintessential Yankees with deep pockets who are willing to spend freely and pull players away from teams who would otherwise land economic deals on solid players.
With Joe Girardi leading the way, coupled with the recent additions of All-Stars like Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann, the Yankees will be just fine without Cano.
Signing Cano to a 10-year contract is the worst thing The Yankees could have done. After the catastrophe that is the Alex Rodriguez contract, it seems Brian Cashman and the rest of the Yankees front office have learned their lesson. Cano will be missed, but now that he isn’t playing in the Bronx who is to say that his production won’t decline? He will be playing in a pitcher-friendly park in Safeco Field and his lineup protection includes Justin Smoak and Kyle Seager. That doesn’t quite have the same effect as Ellsbury and McCann.
Cano is a good ballplayer, but he’s not worth a 10-year contract. The last player in MLB to leave their longtime team and take more money for more years was Albert Pujols, which hasn’t worked out too well for the Anaheim Angels.
The Yankees can now sign several pitchers. Free-agents who are possibilities for New York include Ervin Santana, Matt Garza, Masahiro Tanaka and even Roy Halladay. Many of these pitchers could come to the Yankees willingly and take a small contract for the chance to play for a contender.
As far as position players go, the Yankees can now make runs for Shin-Soo Choo, Carlos Beltran and Omar Infante. They are close to closing a deal with second baseman Kelly Johnson, who is left-handed hitter and will certainly benefit from the hitter-friendly park in the Bronx. Johnson can also plug-in at third.
Regardless of what happens in the A-Rod situation, they Yankees are now able to sign a veteran third baseman from free-agency which includes a long list of names like Michael Young, Eric Chavez, Kevin Youkilis or Juan Uribe. Not signing Cano has opened many doors for the Yankees, leaving endless possibilities that otherwise would not have surfaced if New York was tied up with the 31-year-old second baseman in a mega-contract.
The Yanks are now the front-runner for every free-agent available which is discouraging if you’re a fan of any other team. Cano’s production and smooth defending will be missed by Yankee fans, but when it comes to what the standings look like in September I believe everyone in the Bronx will be a lot happier than the people up in Seattle.