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Could the Evil Empire Walk Away From Robinson Cano?

Robinson Cano

As any baseball fan knows, or as the ‘I only watch during the playoffs’ fan is about to find out, the New York Yankees have had a disastrous season. While much of it has had to due with some bad luck and a ridiculous amount of injuries, there are serious questions regarding whether the Bronx Bombers can rebound in 2014.

Not only will they have to replace the reliable and legendary arms of Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte, the Yanks could go for an entire year without the services of A-Rod. Even if Rodriguez is available, his health has been an issue now for some time, which can also be said now about the aging wonder Derek Jeter.

Further, it remains to be seen how Mark Teixeira performs after spending nearly a year on the shelf due to wrist surgery. Hiroki Kuroda, who was the Yank’s go-to pitcher for much of the season, is a free agent, and isn’t sure if he’ll return for another campaign. Kuroda turns 39 in February.

Now if all of this wasn’t bad enough, the Bronx Bomber’s best player, a man who put up a WAR of 6.0 this season, is entering free agency. Of course that person is Mr. Robinson Cano. In the past, Yankee fans haven’t had to worry whether the Evil Empire would shovel out piles of cash to retain its top players. But have things changed? Or should they?

If you haven’t heard, reports have already surfaced claiming that Cano’s reps are looking for a 10 ten year, 300 million deal for the second baseman. That’s right; 30 million per year…Now of course, this could be part of the bargaining process, and the realistic hope is to get Cano something around 20, 25 million, but still…that’s a tee-unn of cash.

The Yankees do have a lot of high priced salaries coming off the books, and are hoping to reduce the payroll to below 189 million, so that their luxury tax burden is significantly reduced (before boosting payroll once again). While there’s probably a way to do this and resign Cano, considering how the Yanks have been forced to choke down A-Rod’s $275 million contract, would they want to enter into a similar predicament? Especially since another elite second baseman like Dustin Pedroia just signed a deal with the Red Sox for around $14 million per year?

Now it’s hard to say whether the aforementioned report was accurate, but it’s also been reported that Cano’s management has already turned down a 6 year, 144 million contract. That definitely seems like the kind of deal the Yanks could get more behind.

While losing Cano would be a big blow for the Yanks, there is a chance the storied franchise could walk away from the superstar. The Bombers don’t appear to have any top tier prospects ready to make an impact in the bigs–not in 2014 anyways– and with so many other question marks, $30 million could fill a lot of holes.

Despite the fact many pundits blasted some of Boston’s pre-season acquisitions, the Red Sox spent wisely and have cruised to win the AL East. These are definitely troubling times for the beloved and yet hated Yanks.