The free agent second baseman reportedly signed a 10-year, $240 million contract to play in the Northwest, tying him with Albert Pujols (Angels) for the third-richest contract in baseball history.
The Texas Rangers were rumored to be pursuing Cano, a five-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger winner in nine years with the Yankees. The Rangers missed out on Cano back in 2004 when the Yankees reportedly offered him to Texas as a prospect to complete the Alex Rodriguez trade. Now, in 2013, the Rangers have missed out on Cano again.
But should the Rangers be sorry if they miss out on Cano this time?
No. The Rangers do not need him. Here is why:
* Middle infield is already set. The Rangers just traded away their second baseman and their longest-tenured player, Ian Kinsler, to free up a spot for Jurickson Profar, who I think has the potential to be as good as Cano at a much cheaper price (for now, anyway). At shortstop, they have Elvis Andrus, whom they signed through 2022 at a hefty price. There is no place to put Cano.
* The albatross. Contracts in excess of $200 million simply do not work. The Rangers should know this from the Alex Rodriguez debacle. A-Rod performed at a superstar level with the Rangers (with some help, he later admitted), but it ended up being simply too much money for one player. Just ask the Angels how the Pujols contract worked out (and ask them how $125 million for Josh Hamilton worked out while you're at it).
* Payroll. The Rangers just committed $118 million to a slightly above-average defensive shortstop who doesn't hit for power and has a league-average career on-base percentage. They also just took on much of the remainder of Prince Fielder's contract from Detroit. The last thing the Rangers needed was to add $24 million to the payroll just for one player.
* Age. Cano is 31 now, so he will be 41 at the end of a 10-year contract. Do the math -- he will not be worth it. He's good, but not that good.
* Overrated. Let's face it -- did this guy really deserve the third-largest contract in baseball history? Cano reportedly got the exact same contract from Seattle as Pujols got from the Angels two years ago and Pujols' career numbers after nine years dwarf those of Cano (for example, Pujols had three MVP Awards by that point and finished second in the voting four other times while Cano has never finished higher than third).
Cano averages 24 homers and 97 RBIs for a full season. Those numbers are good, but not superstar level. Is Cano like Derek Jeter in that he receives way too much praise (and/or hype) relative to his peers because he plays for the Yankees? I think so.
Meanwhile, best of luck to Cano. If he is going to Seattle, he's going from a bandbox to a pitcher's park and to a team that has Felix Hernandez but not much else. Not to mention he'll be facing the enormous pressure of living up to such a huge contract (ask A-Rod how he handled the pressure).
Let Seattle have Cano. The Rangers are better off without him.
Brian Honea is a Dallas, Texas-based freelance writer who is a lifelong Texas Rangers follower.
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