Robinson Cano and the New York Yankees have continued discussions regarding a new contract for the soon-to-be free agent, according to some insight shared by Hal Steinbrenner to David Lennon of Newsday (h/t MLBTR). Much of the discussions between the team and Brodie Van Wagenen, Cano’s agent, were described as “procedural” at this point in the process.
A potential contract extension for Cano appears to be a top priority for the Yankees, particularly considering the market for the second baseman will likely be strong should he actually reach free agency this winter (he could be the most sought-after player available). The 30 year old is currently batting .301/.345/.552 in 174 PA on the year, numbers right in line with his career averages over the past eight seasons in New York. Heading into Spring Training there was some suggestion that a potential deal might need to exceed the $200 Million mark.
Cano, of course, has changed representation since – leaving Scott Boras for a new agency lead by Jay-Z, with Van Wagenen from CAA handling the baseball negotiations. With Boras it seems all but a certainty that Cano would test the open market, as that’s Boras’ tactic with nearly all of his clients. For the Yankees, an organization that typically prefers to avoid in-season contract negotiations, this was presenting a challenge that didn’t seem to be making any progress. Cano’s decision to change representation was in part to secure a career off the field in some capacity, thanks to Jay-Z’s influence and connections. He’s also made it clear that he’d like to remain a Yankee.
It’d seem that Steinbrenner would agree and is optimistic about the two sides reaching a deal, when asked by Lennon about the impact that the change in agencies has had on negotiations:
I don’t know. I still have faith that the player has a big say in it, and I know that Robby wants to be there, and Robby knows that we want him to be here. We want him to end his career here. I think to me, whether I’m right or not, that plays a big part into it regardless of who the agent is. But we’re going to continue to try and push ahead and get something done. We want him to be a Yankee.
All signs would seem to indicate that a deal will eventually be reached between the two sides, though it may not be finalized until the season concludes if the team sticks to their own policies. Possibly the biggest question that remains is how long the deal will be (7-8 years, according to most guesses) and what the total value will end up being (presumably upwards of $160 Million). Let’s not forget that Cano’s off-field opportunities will remain higher if he is to remain in the limelight of a city like New York, which could also be a factor in his decision.