Robinson Cano is leaving the New York Yankees for a struggling Seattle Mariners organization and is making a huge mistake by doing so. From a financial standpoint, Cano did the right thing by leaving New York. The second baseman earned an extra $70 million and three years on his contract by moving west. However, he has essentially kissed his chances of winning a second World Series goodbye.
The Mariners posted a 71-91 record and tied for 29th in MLB with a team batting average of just .237. The team hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2001 and has found it difficult to draw crowds over the past few seasons, averaging just 24,672 per game since 2008. With no star power outside of pitcher Felix Hernandez, the Mariners have been a subpar franchise since Alex Rodriguez left for the Texas Rangers in 2001.
The days of Ken Griffey Jr. and A-Rod have long passed and this is now an organization that has made losing a habit.
Cano is a fantastic baseball player. He has a smooth glove in the field and can hit for average and power, but he is no A-Rod in his prime. Cano isn’t even Griffey in his prime. Griffey averaged 36 home runs a season during his first stint with the Mariners. A-Rod has averaged 41 homers over the last 20 seasons. These numbers make Cano’s average of 24 over his first nine seasons in the league look minuscule.
In this regard, the second baseman was smart by taking the 10-year contract worth $240 mil because that’s much more than his numbers show he’s worth.
Cano leaves a Yankees team that is reloading after a disappointing 2013 season in which the team went 85-77 and missed the playoffs for just the second time in the last 19 seasons. The Bronx Bombers signed Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury to large deals while the jury was still out on Cano. The Yankees then went on to sign veteran slugger Carlos Beltran in the immediate hours after the Mariners’ signing of Cano was made public.
Had Cano stayed a Yankee, he would have been a star in a lineup filled with other stars. The 31-year old could have played the rest of his career in an organization that expects to win now. Unfortunately for Yankees fans and for him, Cano is now with the Mariners. He joins a team that has had two winning seasons since 2004. He joins a lineup that features Franklin Gutierrez and Kendrys Morales.
Unless the second baseman and agent Jay-Z know something about the Seattle Mariners that nobody else knows, it appears as though Robinson Cano has made a terrible mistake.