Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz told radio station WEEI on Friday that the New York Yankees' loss of second baseman Robinson Cano to free agency is "great news for us."
Ortiz said the Yankees lost "the face" of their franchise when Cano reportedly agreed to terms on a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners on Friday.
"This guy hurt us," Ortiz said. "He is the guy that, you're never going to forget about him because he puts up some monster numbers. Now let's see how everything goes with him on the West Coast."
Ortiz said he was not surprised that Cano commanded such a large contract, but was surprised that the Yankees did not re-sign him.
"I couldn't believe the Yankees let that walk away," he said. "He's the face, as long as he played for the Yankees, he was the face of that ballclub. He was backing up everybody."
ESPN reported Saturday that Cano will return to Seattle on Sunday and have a physical exam Monday to complete the third-largest contract in baseball history. It is tied with first baseman Albert Pujols' deal that he signed with the Los Angeles Angels after the 2011 season.
Third baseman Alex Rodriguez has the top two contracts in major-league history. He signed a 10-year, $275 million extension with the Yankees in 2007, replacing the 10-year, $252 million deal he signed with the Texas Rangers in 2000.
Ortiz called Cano's deal "well deserved."
"I'm telling you, I knew he was going to get something around that because he's one of the best players in the game right now and that's where the best players are at," Ortiz said. "The way he makes the game look, it's ridiculous. It's just impossible.
"He makes the game look so easy. ... Now, we're not going to be able to see him that much, thank God. He's going to the West Coast. Wishing him the best. He's a good friend of mine, and like I said, well deserved."
The 31-year-old Cano is a career .309 hitter with 204 home runs and 822 RBIs in nine seasons with the Yankees. He is also one of the top defensive second basemen in the American League and has proved to be durable, playing in a minimum of 159 regular-season games the past seven years. In the past four seasons, Cano finished among the top six in the AL MVP voting.
Cano played in 160 games and batted .314 with 27 home runs and 107 RBIs this year.