SBD/November 25, 2013/Franchises

Yankees Send Message With McCann Deal, As $189M Goal Seems Unrealistic

McCann's deal could end up stretching to six years for $100M
The Yankees' five-year, $85M free agent deal with C Brian McCann "seems to be a way of telling the baseball world that for all the talk of age, injuries and the luxury-tax threshold, they have every intention of reclaiming a spot in October next season," according to John Harper of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. The deal with McCann could be six years for $100M "via a vesting option if the catcher essentially stays healthy" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/24). CBSSPORTS.com's Matt Snyder wrote McCann's deal and the Yankees' "several other holes to fill" make the $189M luxury tax figure look "awfully small compared to where things may end up." Snyder: "All we've heard about the Yankees and salary in the past year or two is that they want to stay under the luxury tax threshold, but that seems a distant memory in light of how things appear to be going this offseason" (CBSSPORTS.com, 11/23). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Daniel Barbarisi writes, "Faced with flagging fan interest, aging players and a general feeling of malaise, the McCann deal backs up what Yankee ownership has been saying for months -- that despite the increased commitment to fiscal austerity, there is no such thing as rebuilding in the Bronx." The Yankees are "in permanent go-for-it mode, validating the words" of Managing General Partner Hal Steinbrenner two weeks ago, when he said that the Yankees "aren't tone deaf to those who say the team hasn't been very Yankee-like of late" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/25). ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote the Yankees are "keenly aware of what's at stake for them" next season after missing the postseason in '13. They "need a quick rebound" after a season of down attendance and TV ratings. The Yankees "really want" to re-sign 2B Robinson Cano, but "they're not going to wait for him" (ESPN.com, 11/24).

CHANGE THE BLUEPRINT? In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote Cano's decision to change agents from Scott Boras to Jay Z "hasn't worked out so well." Cano will "make a good amount of money before all is said and done, and he’ll end up saying he got exactly what he wanted." But "not really." The $310M figure that was "thrown out there has done Cano a world of harm." This "whole notion of marketing Cano hasn't taken off." The Yankees "didn't buy it" and neither did the Mets." Cano is being marketed as "an entertainer as much as a ballplayer." Major league teams "want ballplayers, not another pretty face who does commercials" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/24).
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