When Robinson Cano took off for Seattle, he left the New York Yankees with a gaping hole at second base and their fans with a similar-sized hole in their hearts.
Cano was the Yankees’ best hitter and had a chance to have his number in Monument Park by career’s end. Instead, he opted for the cash. Cano accepted a 10-year, $240 million dollar contract — the third largest contract in baseball history. Upon his departure from the Bronx, Cano took a few jabs at the Yankees’ front office, claiming that he felt disrespected by their offer of “only” $175 million dollars. If only we could all feel so disrespected. Instead of re-signing with the team he had played his whole career for, Cano left the Yankees. However, the next time he returns, he will likely see what real disrespect is from New York’s finest fans.
The task of replacing Cano’s talent at second was one of near impossibility, but replacing his production in the lineup was first priority. The Yankees quickly snagged Carlos Beltran out of free agency for three years and $45 million. Beltran, an established three hitter was added just weeks after stud outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, and power hitting catcher Brian McCann. Cano’s flare and charisma on the field will be missed, but Brian Cashman acted quickly and decisively to put together an incredible lineup.
As far as replacing Cano at second base, you will likely see a platoon system. New York signed a pesky veteran Brian Roberts to a one-year deal. Roberts has been injury-plagued through most of his prime, but has proven when healthy that he can still play. The Yankees also signed utility man Kelly Johnson who will see time at second and third this season. As for other options, the Yankees still have the speedy Eduardo Nunez to try at second as well. Nunez has proven shaky with the glove so far, but a change to second may help improve his fielding woes.
Cano will be missed in New York for now until his first game at Yankee Stadium where he will undoubtedly be booed by New York. However, the Yankees have done a fine job replacing his offensive production, and as long as they can make the plays in the field, this team looks like a real contender.