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New York Yankees Smartly Not Over-Spending to Replace Robinson Cano

Yankee Showing Prudence, Not Panic in Effort to Find a New Second Baseman

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | Robinson Cano is now a member of the Seattle Mariners.

As of now, the most likely replacements for Cano on the New York Yankees' roster are veteran utilityman types Kelly Johnson and Brendan Ryan.

That isn't going to cut it, and from all the names being bandied about on the baseball rumor mill, it is obvious the Yankees know it.

Just like the Yankees showed fiscal restraint in dealing with Cano, letting him walk when the Mariners were willing to vastly overpay him, they deserve credit for thus far showing restraint in finding a new second baseman.

Free agent Omar Infante has been considered a frontrunner to become the Yankees' second baseman. The Yankees do reportedly have a three-year, $24-million offer on the table for Infante. They have, however, to this point resisted Infante's apparent desire for a four-year, $40-million deal.

Infante would be a nice get on the free-agent market, but he will be 32 in a few days and while his .318/.345/.450 slash line, 10 home runs, 51 RBIs and 113 OPS+ were all career-bests, a four-year deal seems exorbitant. If someone wants to give it to him, fine, but it's an overpayment the Yankees deserve credit for thus far avoiding it.

There are also reports that the Yankees turned down a swap of outfielder Brett Gardner for Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips. Here again, Phillips is a terrific player and -- both offensively and defensively -- may come as close to replacing Cano's production as anyone who could be available.

The question is long-term cost, and again the Yankees are showing prudence. Phillips, 32, is signed through 2017 and is owed $50 million over the next four years. He also reportedly wanted a bump in that $50 million to waive his partial no-trade and accept a move to New York.

Again, the Yankees have to this point said no to a move that might make short-term sense but could end up looking like money poorly spent down the road.

I don't want to see Johnson or Ryan end up starting the season at second base for the Yankees -- I doubt anyone really does. I do, however, like the fact that the Yankees have not panicked and made a wild, regrettable move to replace their departed second baseman.

-- Ed Valentine is editor of Big Blue View, covering the New York Giants for SB Nation. As a contributor to Yahoo Sports, Ed writes about the Giants and Yankees. Follow him on Twitter @bigblueview.

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