All was quiet in the baseball world on Saturday night until Phil Hughes agreed to a three-year, $24 million contract with the Minnesota Twins. Prior to that, the biggest news of the day centered another Yankees free agent, second baseman Robinson Cano, in the form of two noteworthy updates on the contract terms he's seeking this winter.
According to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News, Cano has flatly denied reports that he asked the Yankees for $300 million earlier in the season, or that he’s seeking that amount in free agency.
“I’ve never asked anybody for $300 million,” the free agent second baseman told the Dominican website El Dia on Thursday, during a ceremony to honor the Dominican Republic’s World Baseball Classic Championship earlier this year.
Cano went on to say in Spanish that “nobody has ever heard that come out of my mouth ($300 million) and you’re never going to hear it.”
Martino later notes that Cano may have been technically right in his denial, since it would be his agents who were reportedly throwing the numbers around. A second report from the New York Post's Ken Davidoff essentially confirms it was Cano's agents who first mentioned that figure in May, while also confirming that Cano is seeking less than $300 million on the open market.
Cano’s most recent offer to the Yankees, in a meeting last week, was a nine-year contract for between $250 and $260 million, the source said. The Yankees have countered with a seven-year deal for between $160 million and $175 million, a figure that would put Cano among the top five or six compensated position players in the game.
A second source said Cano’s representation, led by Jay Z and Brodie Van Wagenen, hasn’t asked anyone for the now infamous 10-year, $310-million package — or anything starting with a “3” — since he became a free agent. The request for those years and dollars came in May, attached with the premium of Cano foregoing his free agency, and the player and team shut down talks shortly after that. So those terms haven’t been relevant for six months.
It's not a lot less when divided by the number of years, but the $300 million figure is out of the picture barring an unforeseen bidding war.
As we've also learned recently, Cano has expressed a willingness to drag the process out as long as he needs to ensure he receives market value. The Yankees, on the other hand, want to get a deal done as soon as possible so they can focus on other needs. If the gap between the two sides is as large as Davidoff's report indicates, the next few weeks could be very interesting.
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