SBD/December 13, 2013/Franchises

Cano Gets Star Treatment During Intro As $240M Deal With Mariners Becomes Official

Cano says he felt disrespected by the Yankees during negotiations
Mariners 2B Robinson Cano's deal with the team "became official on Thursday afternoon" when he signed a 10-year, $240M free-agent contract, and during his introductory press conference, he "got the star treatment ... because that’s what the Mariners believe he is -- and what they need," according to Ryan Divish of the SEATTLE TIMES. Mariners Exec VP & GM of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik said of Cano's signing, "It’s a step, but it’s a huge step. It’s also a major commitment. I think the contract is justified" (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/13). In Tacoma, Todd Dybas notes Cano's contract is "the largest in the organization's 36 years" (Tacoma NEWS-TRIBUNE, 12/13).

WHY HE CHOSE THE MARINERS: In Seattle, Larry Stone notes Cano at the press conference "spoke repeatedly about how he came to view the Mariners as a family welcoming a new member." The Mariners "committed internally to putting forth a full-court press on the All-Star second baseman." Zduriencik said the organization's consensus at the outset of free agency was, "'Let's not get sold short on this one, and let’s get it.' And we did. We were very aggressive. … They (ownership) believed it was time for us to strike with a star." He added, "You could have stopped at a seven-year deal and probably wouldn’t have gotten it done. You probably could have gone to an eight-year deal and that wouldn’t have gotten it done. The fact the ownership group went to 10 was a big, big factor" (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/13). Cano said of the Yankees, "I didn’t feel respect. I didn’t get respect from them. I was hoping they would come up with a better offer. My goal was to stay there." He added, "The contract is not about the money. It was about the years. I wanted a contract to end my career." CAA Baseball co-Head Brodie Van Wagenen, who represented Cano alongside Jay Z, said, "To sign for seven or eight years didn’t make sense because he’d have to go through this again. ... The Mariners viewed him as a game-changing talent on and off field and we didn’t necessarily get that from the Yankees" (N.Y. POST, 12/13).

LINCOLN'S CHANGING PHILOSOPHY: SPORTSPRESSNW.com's Art Thiel wrote the signing of Cano is "against everything" Mariners Chair & CEO Howard Lincoln "has stood for in his 14-year tenure" with the team. The move also is "against everything that baseball’s conventional wisdom says about long-term contracts to mid-career stars," and "against everything a disgruntled fan base has come to expect from a franchise now branded nationally as dysfunctional." Thiel: "In a word: Astounding." It is, "after all, the American way to buy one's way out of trouble" (SPORTSPRESSNW.com, 12/12).

YANKS LACKING STAR POWER? In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes with Cano gone, the Yankees "have only one ratings attraction -- Derek Jeter." The "other big one, an even bigger question mark, is Alex Rodriguez." If Rodriguez "is on the shelf, the Yankees better keep a close eye on Jeter," as "carrying this kind of ratings load ain’t good for the back" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/13).
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