Everybody understands, even Cano himself, that ten years from now he’ll be a shell of what he is at the moment. Everybody knows he’s going to get worse, instead of get better. No one knows how he’ll get worse, and everyone knows he’s starting from a lofty level of talent. This is justifiable. This is enormous. And this is risky, and it’s going to lead to subsequent risks. All that’s left to do for the moment is hope that the front office does a good job the next couple weeks. There are ways to make the Mariners good, around Cano and Felix Hernandez. There are ways to make them good that don’t involve giving up too many present and future assets. Right now, they’re on the bubble of wild-card contention, and more upgrades could put them in the thick of things in the AL West. The Mariners are a real baseball team again. Now it’s a matter of making sure that lasts. Source: Jeff Sullivan at USSMariner
Robinson Cano is a far, far superior player to Ellsbury. Cano has posted seven season with an OPS of .800 or greater; Ellsbury has done so once. Cano has played 150 or more games in a season seven times; Ellsbury has done so twice. Cano hits in the middle of a lineup; Ellsbury does not. And yet the Yankees saw only a $17 million difference between the two. The Mariners saw an $87 million difference. You tell me: Who wanted him more? And how does Cano not get that message? He’s supposed to stay with the team that wanted him less because it’s a closer flight to his native Dominican? Cano had phone conversations with Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, a Venezuelan who back in February signed a seven-year extension to stay in Seattle, about the distance from home. It is not a deal-breaker.
The Mariners are a better team with Robinson Cano and they are not done yet. They can still go after free agent outfielders Cruz or Carlos Beltran and put a package together to trade for a pitcher like David Price, Jeff Samardzija or Brett Anderson. They just become a whole lot more relevant today — more attractive to fans and free agents with Cano on board.
As for being stuck with an albatross of a contract that will prevent the Mariners from making other moves as Cano ages, think about how fast baseball revenues are growing. Over the past 10 years, revenues have doubled, from $4.5 billion in 2004 to what is expected to be $9 billion in 2014. Cano’s contract is likely to eat up a smaller percentage of Seattle’s payroll as he ages. What looks like a big problem today becomes a smaller one over time. Source: Tom Verducci at Sports Illustrated
“He’s a great kid in the community. He understands his place. I think the one thing you’ll see from him is genuineness. He is genuine, great human being. I’ve watched this guy hop on the subway, he’s that humble. He doesn’t have to fly on the private jet. He handles his money well, he handles himself with class. He reaches out in communities, and he’s bilingual. He speaks fluent English and Spanish. I think that’s important in today’s game and society. I know a lot of people are hearing that he wants to be a global icon, and caught up in all the hype and different things like that, that’s far from who he really is about. I think when you get to know him, he is a quality human being.” Source: Harold Reynolds on Wyman, Mike and Moore via Shannon Drayer at My Northwest
Somewhere Eric Wedge is saying, “WTF? I had to get down on my knees to get Robert Andino.” Seattle Times blog comment by SofaSpud
Cano was extended a qualifying offer by the Yankees, which means any team that signs him would surrender a first-round choice in next year’s First-Year Player Draft unless it is in the first 10 protected slots. The Mariners hold pick No. 6, so they would instead give up their next selection, which currently would be the 31st choice if the Mariners receive compensation for Morales signing elsewhere. If Seattle retains Morales, its second choice would be the sixth pick in the second round. Regardless of any further movement, the Yankees will receive a compensatory pick at the end of the first round for losing Cano. Source: Greg Johns at MLB
After five years of “build up the talent base and let young players learn how to win” failure, people are really complaining that the M’s spent too much on Cano? Is it their money? Seattle Times blog comment by Ex NC fan
In terms of the post-expansion era, only Rod Carew and Joe Morgan exceed him in offensive impact. The Yankees might have been too familiar with Cano’s shortcomings to see just how special he truly is. By the time he’s done, we may see him as not just as a Hall of Famer, but one of the all-time greats at his position. Source: Steven Goldman at SB Nation.com
Cano alone is not going to transform the Mariners into winners. He may change the way people think of the franchise, but ultimately, only the wins and losses matter. The A’s are still better in the American League West. The Rangers and Angels probably are as well. That’s why Zduriencik has to keep going.
Carlos Beltran would still be a nice fit. So would Nelson Cruz. Perhaps Zduriencik takes a second look at a couple of his own free agents — Ibanez and Morales. If he’s willing to deal his best pitching prospect, Taijuan Walker (Don’t do it, Jack.), he might land David Price to drop into the rotation between Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.
Zduriencik understands this. He knows Cano is the biggest piece to the puzzle, but still only a piece. All those young players may take a huge leap forward in 2014, but that’s a tough gamble. To really cash in on Cano, the Mariners need to put at least one more experienced, impact bat — and probably two — around him. Because the only way Cano’s signing makes sense in the long run is if it contributes to winning. All that said, Cano is a tremendous start. Almost no one envisioned that this is where he’d end up. To land in one of America’s most beautiful cities, in a place where sports is important, is about as good as it gets. He was on his way to being remembered as one of the greatest Yankees ever. Now, he’ll have a chance to be the one who jumped-started the Mariners, the guy who helped get them back on the road to winning. As legacies go, that’s not a bad one. Source: Richard_Justice at MLB.com