Don't tell anybody, but hip hop hall of famer and gift of gamer Jay Z met with the New York Mets in "secret" Monday night regarding Robinson Cano, baseball's top free agent this offseason. The New York Post has the details, including a composite photo of Cano in a Mets uniform that looks like the worst/best airbrushed Topps baseball card from the 1970s.
Doggone it, Cano's people meant it when they said Jay Z would be "intimately involved" in negotiating his next contract. And there he was, taking a dinner meeting at a "posh Manhattan hotel," the Post reports, with Mets exec Jeff Wilpon, general manager Sandy Alderson and assistant GM John Ricco.
Cano, playing across the East River in Flushing, no longer a New York Yankee but a Met? Say it ain't so! Well, it probably ain't so. Alderson recently said something about the team being unwilling to afford another huge contract along the lines of what the team already pays David Wright.
Cano, if you didn't hear, wants $310 million over 10 years. The Yankees have countered with something like $168 million over seven years. So there's an opening. But for the Mets?
"We foresee a deal involving CDs with unbeatable interest rates from this bank we know in Antigua," the Mets might have told Jay Z.
The Post speculates:
Cano going to the Mets remains a distinct long shot. The Mets simply had little to lose by agreeing to this meeting. And Jay Z, a rookie sports representative, could test out his pitch on a club that is ultimately unlikely to land his client.
Jay Z has made it clear his representation of Cano is about marketing as well as baseball, and staying in New York with the Mets would afford Cano the many marketing opportunities the Big Apple offers.
Of course, the Yankees remain the city’s top baseball team even after missing the playoffs for the first time in five years, and Cano’s brand-expansion potential — both short-term, given the Yankees’ pursuit of big-name free agents and long-term, given the benefits of a career spent exclusively in the Bronx — looms considerably larger by sticking with the Yankees.
Perhaps Jay Z told the Mets something that will make it worth their while to get serious about Cano. Only the best postgame concert acts at Citi Field. Barneys concession stands. Jay Z himself on the mic doing player introductions. Roc a Wear Cologne dispensers in the men's rooms.
Add it all up and the Mets might be trading Daniel Murphy to make way for Robbie.
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