Mariners Insider

Cano to the Mariners? Yes!

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on Dec. 6, 2013 at 8:27 am with 19 Comments »
December 6, 2013 10:39 am

So it’s happening.

The Mariners are really closing in on a massive, franchise-changing agreement with free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano.

At 10 years for $240 million.

Enrique Rojas of broke the news early Friday, but it was quickly verified by other outlets. The deal is pending a routine physical, tentatively scheduled for Monday.

It’s a game-changer for the Mariners. Also a huge gamble.

The agreement came after talks broke off late Thursday when Jay Z, who represents Cano, asked the Mariners to boost a nine-year offer at $225 million to 10 years for $252 million.

The Mariners balked — largely because their offer was already roughly $50 million more than the Yankees (or anyone else, for that matter) appeared willing to offer.

“What Jay Z tried to do is what (Scott) Boras got (Rangers owner Tom) Hicks to do with A-Rod (after the 2000 season),” a top agent said. “He tried to get the Mariners to bid against themselves.”

But a night’s sleep appears to have bridged the gap. The Mariners boosted their offer, and Cano/Jay Z realized they weren’t going to get anything close to it from any other team.

The prevailing view throughout the industry is the deal, considered in isolation, is an outrageous overpayment — even for one of the game’s best players.

Even so, some observers defend it as an investment to get the franchise turned around. One likened it to a store slashing prices on a popular item in order to get customers into the building.

“The gamble,” one said, “is how many good years do you think you can get out of Cano? Are five enough? Seven? Do you think you’ll get enough to offset (what is likely to be) a poor investment?”

Cano, 31, is a five-time All-Star who produced a .314/.383/.516 slash last season while hitting 27 homers and driving in 107 runs. He has averaged 28 homers, 103 RBIs and a .314 average over the last five seasons.

His addition could also have a chain-reaction effect by dispelling the view that top free agents aren’t willing to come to Seattle.

“That’s bull,” another agent said. “Players haven’t wanted to come to Seattle over the last few years because they haven’t been very good. If the team is good, and the team is willing to pay, there’s no reason they can’t get players.

“What this whole thing proves is they’re willing to pay. You get one key guy, and everything changes.”

Everything just changed.

Do you like the Robinson Cano signing by the Mariners?

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Leave a comment Comments → 19
  1. Skysport says:

    Wow. I’m not a fan of humongous contracts, but special circumstances call for special action. And this was a special action. And it is a gamble, but I think it’s a much safer bet than Pujols and Hamilton were. Cano is consistent (unlike Hamilton) and he stays healthy (unlike Pujols). Will the deal be worth every last year and every last dollar of the contract? Of course not. But that’s not the point. The real point is much bigger than that. Still more work to do, but this is a huge step.

  2. Denver_Fan says:

    The people at USS Mariner don’t like the deal because of the fact that “it ties the budget up …” blah, blah, blah. We don’t know if just maybe they’ve decided in order to turn things around they need to really open up the pocketbook and spend some of the accumulated capital they’ve garnered over the last 10 years when they were making profits, but not spending.

    Chuckie is on the way out the door. There’s a new head of Nintendo – it is entirely possible that the new bunch is going to take some risks to try and get better. The last 3 years of the deal are dubious, but who knows what the marketplace will be by then, either. Inflation may make the deal look better. There may be sources of revenue that nobody thought of, too.

  3. Please, oh please, don’t be another Chone Figgins.

  4. Someone name THREE big signings the Mariners have done that have worked out. What? you can’t even thing of one? Me either….few good years left then we are paying 20+ million for a .260 10 HR 55 RBI guy for 5 or 6. Man, if I had to do over, I’d put everything into being a baseball player….most overpaid profession PERIOD!

  5. Denver_Fan says:

    1. Junior (the original long-term deal
    2. Edgar
    3. King Felix

  6. Go ahead and throw Ichiro and Beltre in there too.

  7. I_like_pie says:

    1. Richie
    2. fricking
    3. Sexton

  8. Quinault says:

    I like Iwakuma. And Ichiro. Who knew what that whole posting system would work out for us? We outbid everyone for a player from a distant land who have a different style of game (and skill levels). I would say that Ichiro is a first ballot HOF player. Iwakuma took a different route. His original bid was won by Oakland who did not sign him so he went back to Japan. We signed him later. It was big, as the Cy Young balloting accounts for.

    I say we try again! We need another starting pitcher!

  9. udub671 says:

    The posting system is set to change. I believe a cap of $20 million is going to be set for bidders, and it will either give the Japanese players more freedom to negotiate with all the teams who post the max bid, or will give the winning bid to the team with the worst record. The Mariners have lost out on some of the bigger Japanese names (Darvish, Matsuzaka) because they wouldn’t outbid those other teams. The new system gives us a better chance to sign the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, since most Japanese players actually like Seattle as a destination.

  10. I’m already on record as highly skeptical of big contracts like this…Cano may be the top 2B by a decent margin, but he won’t carry the offense, let alone the team, by himself. But with all that, this creates energy in Seattle…and if this allows us to add Price and a major OF bat like Cruz or Kemp then we become competitive. And if we can also add serious depth to our bullpen – the back end of our bullpen – we become a real contender, the favorite in the West. We have rotation depth (with Price) with our young guys – assuming at least one or two of them are left after paying for Price and maybe Kemp. We have a decent core on offense adding Cano and a major OF bat. If this is a part of a package like that…Hell yes, get on the bandwagon, it could get damn fun.

  11. Bob, I wish you the best here; you are replacing the best sports blogger in Western Washington.

    As far as Cano goes, I can see 3 sides to this:

    1. The Mariners are a much better team than they were before the signing.

    2. On the other hand, is Z trying to save his job, & will this contract bite us really bad ly in 6 or 7 years when Cano ages?

    3. On yet another hand, I may not be alive in 10 years (my mom died only 4 years older than I am now), so…… go M’s!

  12. I love baseball but do not have a favorite team. I simply enjoy the game. With that being said, this signing is out there.

    I like it for the Ms because it brings them a great hitter at a position you normally don’t count on to produce like that. It also proves to your fans that you’re serious about trying to get better, instead of all the “wait til next year” stuff.

    However, at 31 years old, he’s not going to get better and you can’t expect him to put up the same numbers in Safeco than you can at one of the best hitter parks in baseball. Even if his game doesn’t drop one sigle bit this year – his numbers will because of the line-up around him and hitting in Safeco instead of Yankee $tadium.

    I wish the Ms nothing but the best of luck and they are definitely going balls to the walls on this one.

  13. Quinault says:

    Since no one man can carry an entire team to the world series – otherwise Griffey would have, multiple times – we are going to the winter meetings to: trade for more pitching / hitting and buy either both or neither [which has been our norm]. Suddenly I foresee an outfielder in our sights. With Ellsbury off the board [NW ties], the only other one would be Choo [with NW ties]. That means the buffet table is wide open! Note: we already brought home Willie Bloomquist.

    Hey, this Christmas shopping is fun!

    But we need a team president as well. That could stabilize the front office and provide the direction that we need.

  14. Coach81 says:

    I think Cruz is much more likely than Choo at this point. Our lineup is heavy with lefties, need a righty with power to balance the lineup (and protect Cano). 2 yrs/$27M.

    Or trade Saunders and Franklin to Toronto for Joey Bats.

    Then trade a mid-level prospect to Philly for Papelbon. They are eager to dump his contract.

    Then sign Garza for for 3yrs/$36M.

  15. Quinault says:

    I agree with the speculation about Cruz, but I am not certain how the whole suspension thing will be handled by our team. If we are bringing back Montero, then Cruz would be the obvious upgrade. Although I am suspect about his outfield capabilities, but as a DH, sure.

    With our glut of middle infielders and power pitching in the bullpen, I think that the trade route will be explored as well.

  16. Coach81 says:

    I don’t think there’s an “if” on Montero. I think he will be a platoon DH with Ibanez.

  17. Quinault says:

    Ibanez is not under contract. Carlos Peguero is(and is much younger).

    I said if, as in should we trade Montero this off season? Let’s go to the winter meetings and see what is in store! We have guys that can hit 100 mph on the radar gun. That should be able to get us another bat. And cost controlled players with MLB experience.

    You never know what Chuck Armstrong’s going away deals might do to the club. We haven’t brought in top tier free agents before. I mean 2013 was sort of a blip with the 1-year deals. These multi-year deals are messing with my mind!

    I would like to see Raul retire as a Mariner. But we may have seen that already.

  18. Coach81 says:

    The team would be selling way too low on Montero if they traded him right now.

    Yes, Peguero is younger than Ibanez. Except Ibanez is actually a good hitter.

  19. Quinault says:

    I agree with everything you have stated. But it is not my call. If the things written about the front office is sort of true, then the vindictive nature of folks leaving the hot seat will determine what course of action we will take. I do not have a clue in regards to the reactions over players who have been suspended for performance enhancing drugs. I think we are all waiting to see how that will shake out.

    I want to believe that there is something left in Raul’s tank. He was supposed to be the pitch hitter, occasional DH & LF, but we threw him into the line up and rode him hard. Because we didn’t have anyone else (Bay / Morse / Guti hurt). He went into the record books and may call it a career. I have not heard anything.

    Last year Cammy came in and signed a 1 day contract and retired a Mariner. Carlos Guillen tried to make the club one last time, but did not make it through Spring Training (in Japan). George Sherill tried to give it a go one last time and got injured. I almost want Raul to go out tied with Ted Williams for most HR’s by a 41 year old. That is a wonderful career.

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