Well, that didn’t take long. Free agent second baseman Robinson Cano has reportedly lowered his contract demand of $310 million.
Cano’s asking price was still $310 million as recently as Tuesday when he had a meeting with the New York Yankees, but the team countered with an offer of seven years and $160 million. Meanwhile, Cano has claimed he hasn’t been asking for the $300 million deal that has been reported. But, frankly, that’s not what we’ve been hearing from sources close to the situation.
Cano clearly wants people to believe he’s not looking for the biggest contract in baseball history, but virtually all signs point to that actually being the case.
The Yankees and Cano did not meet on Wednesday but they did have talks, and clearly New York’s patience is wearing thin because of how public the discussions have gotten. Sources have already indicated that the Yankees’ negotiations with Cano do have a deadline and they won’t let them go on for the entire offseason.
But Cano is on the wrong side of 30 (he’s 31) and is coming off a season in which he was great, but he almost certainly won’t get any better. In 2013, he hit .314 with 27 home runs, 107 RBIs and an OPS of .899. He also posted a WAR of 7.6.
The bottom line for Cano is that the Yankees are going to pay him more than anyone else will. So he can’t push them too far or they will look elsewhere to fill their hole at second base. His representatives have to strike a delicate balance between pushing back in negotiations and not pushing the Yankees away completely.