There is simply no way that any team will give him that much money. Cano will get paid -- that much is certain -- but the contract he'll end up signing will likely be "seven or eight years in length with an overall payout between $160 million and $230 million," according to an ESPN.com Hot Stove survey via Jerry Crasnick.
Even at that price, though, Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn would be wise to take a pass on the left-handed hitter's services. Here are five reasons why:
The White Sox are finally making positive strides with the payroll
If no changes are made, the White Sox's salary commitments in 2014 will end up being around $80 million after arbitration, per CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes. That number is a far cry from last season's opening-day payroll -- which the GM put at roughly $112 million -- and took quite a bit of wrangling on Hahn's part to get to.
Adding Cano at -- using Crasnick's survey as a guide -- $25 million per season would immediately put the Sox at around $105 million, or almost exactly where they started out last year. That is simply too much money for a team that just dropped a six-year, $68 million contract on Jose Abreu's lap and still has the cumbersome contracts of both John Danks ($14.25 million) and Adam Dunn ($15 million) to deal with.
The Sox are in the middle of clearing the books. There is no need to add any red to the ledger.
The cost of WAR is too high
This is where the true cost of a long-term commitment to Cano comes into focus.
Patrick Morris wrote a piece for DailyFinance.com that put the overall worth of an eight-year contract into perspective. Using FanGraphs.com's projected deterioration of a player's WAR each season and the increasing value per MLB win, he noted that by the sixth year, Cano would have a negative impact on the team's finances, and by the final year Cano's projected worth as measured in win value is less than $20 million.
Free agents are signed because they are supposed to help a franchise get into the postseason with the ultimate goal of winning the World Series. Cano is great at the "getting them there" part of the equation -- the other piece … not so much.
In 217 plate appearances over the course of 51 games, he has compiled an unimpressive .222/.267/.419 slash line with only eight home runs, 10 doubles and 28 strikeouts. Making those numbers even more concerning is the fact that eight of his 45 postseason hits and four of his home runs came during the 2010 ALCS versus the Texas Rangers.
He is not a player that can carry a team in October, which is something a $25 million man must be able to do.
He comes with a rather large caveat
Another thing to consider is the collective bargaining agreement.
Under the current rules, if the White Sox were to sign Cano -- who received a qualifying offer from the Yankees -- they would be forced to surrender their second-round pick in next year's first-year player draft. Granted, they will probably not end up selecting the next Robinson Cano with that selection but given the arduous process of rebuilding the farm system, which they are currently in the midst of, each pick has added value.
It is simply not the right time
Were the White Sox a player away from winning the World Series, signing the 32-year-old would make sense. Being responsible for the backend of a bloated contract is more palatable if there is a trophy in the display case.
The reality is that the Sox are nowhere near that point, and signing Cano is an unrealistic expectation.
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