Free agent Robinson Cano willingly leaving the New York Yankees and becoming a member of the Seattle Mariners always seemed like a pipe dream scenario, drawing cynicism from nearly every follower on social media, the radio airwaves and television reports. But then last night, news of Cano, agent and hip hop mogul Jay-Z and the rest of his team flying to Seattle broke, and the cynicism changed to...slightly less cynicism.
As the night wore into this morning, reports quoting Cano's father and Yankees' GM Brian Cashman truly made it sound like the Yankees were not bluffing in their stance. And that meant that a reported 9-year, $225 million dollar contract offer from Seattle would be by far the 31-year-old second baseman's best offer on the table. Would he turn down roughly $50 million to return to the Bronx or would he take the money and go to a floundering team like Seattle?
Seattle reportedly did everything to convince Cano that the M's could be a great fit for him, having Felix Hernandez talk with the left-handed hitter via phone about the virtues and promise of the city and the organization. That seems as though it was part of what led Cano to fly to Seattle, but as promising as that looked, things appear to have taken a turn during face-to-face meetings.
As Mark Feinsand, Jon Heyman and others have reported, talks broke off when Cano's camp altered their demands from the 9/$225m number to a 10/$252m-$260m number during the meetings, causing Mariners' CEO Howard Lincoln, "to explode", ending the meeting.
Was this a case of the Mariners' being used as leverage by Cano or a case of new agent Jay-Z blowing a big pay day for his client out of inexperience? Neither? Both?
Regardless of the answer to that question, if the Mariners and Cano are truly finished trying to acquiesce a deal, Seattle now faces the difficult task of trying to save face and save their season by re-circling the wagons and turning their attention to other ways of improving the ballclub.
The pipe dream appears to be gone, and the Mariners once again are waking up groggy.
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