Though it had been assumed by many/most/all that rapper and raconteur Jay Z would be just a figurehead, word is that he'll be in the negotiating trenches when free agent Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees talk contract this week. And that word comes from Brodie Van Wagenen of the Creative Artists Agency, who is Cano's point man during talks with the Bronx Bombers. Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger passes along that Jay Z's Roc Nation, which Cano hired as a partner with CAA after he fired Scott Boras in April, won't just be sitting on the sidelines and cheering. Or rapping, as it were.
Hova ain't just gonna hover:
“He’s going to be intimately involved in all areas,” Van Wagenen said during an interview Sunday on MLB Network Radio on Sirius XM. “And that has been true for the last six months. It’s certainly true now. Jay is a very, very successful businessman, who has a keen understanding of value, a keen understanding of brands, and a keen understanding of what this player, Robinson Cano, wants to accomplish in his career.
“He’s been at the table both in strategy sessions and in preparation. And he absolutely has, and will continue to be, involved in the actual negotiations with potential suitors.”
Cano reportedly is asking for $310 million over 10 years, which might or might not be fanciful thinking, but it also might be what he ends up receiving if the right two or three teams get involved in the negotiations. As for Shawn Carter's involvement: This is a guy who used to sell crack for a living. Why would Cano's negotiations be any tougher than the worst of those deals in Jay Z's former life?
Jay Z told Vanity Fair contributing editor Lisa Robinson:
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer,” he tells Robinson. “To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up. Or if you want to start some sort of barbershop or car wash—those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life. At some point, you have to have an exit strategy, because your window is very small; you’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
Jay Z of course has built several other legitimate businesses from the ground up. So whatever savvy related to creating record labels and clothes and whatnot will be used on the Yankees when it comes to Cano getting paid. Oh, the Steinbrenners are going to be in for it.
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- Robinson Cano
- Jay Z
- Brodie Van Wagenen