Sports

Seattle Slugger: Robinson Cano lands with Mariners for 10 years, $240 million

Second baseman Robinson Cano has landed in Seattle, at a price of $240 million over nine years. - Wikimedia Commons (author Keith Allison)
Second baseman Robinson Cano has landed in Seattle, at a price of $240 million over nine years.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons (author Keith Allison)

Robinson Cano has landed only a short drive from the Canadian border, signing with the Seattle Mariners on Friday to a 10-year, $240 million contract that will take him from the Empire City to the Emerald City.

For a Seattle team in need of star power to accompany marooned pitcher Felix Hernandez, this is the equivalent of bringing a whale to your casino. Maybe it's like getting Sinatra and Martin to play opening night at the Sands or the Flamingo. But it's also a huge contract that doesn't end for a very long time, even if it is a discount on the star's previous demands.

Cano, who has played his entire career with the New York Yankees, had been asking for $310 million at the start of this year's offseason.

"Cano is 30," wrote Major League Baseball beat writer Mike Bauman on Thursday. "Given what has happened to date with Albert Pujols and his 10-year deal with the Angels, there is a growing concern about awarding that kind of contract to a player already in baseball's middle age, no matter how good he is."

The second baseman has been an American League all-star for four consecutive years and won the AL's Silver Slugger award for his position from 2010 to 2012. He joined the league – the Yankees – in 2005 and currently 31 years old, which will make him 40 when his contract expires (41 if the Mariners are in the World Series that year).

The whale's signing with Seattle has some wondering whether the Mariners are now championship contenders. Cano's numbers have been exemplary, but the team's World Series aspirations have as much or more to do with the play of Robinson's new teammates, writes CBS's Dayn Perry.

"... the M's baseline is not a good one. They went 71-91 last season, and according to runs scored and runs allowed, their record should have been 67-95. Improving by 20 games or so from one season to the next is certainly possible, as the champion Red Sox have reminded us, but it's hardly the norm.

...

"There's certainly hope for improvement within the young core, as position talents like Ackley, Mike Zunino, Justin Smoak, Nick Franklin, Kyle Seager and Michael Saunders are all pre-prime. Further development of this group will go a long way toward lifting that aformentioned baseline. There's also an imposing front of the rotation in Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma, and there's star-caliber upside in Taijuan Walker. As well, the addition of Cano makes Franklin or shortstop Brad Miller available for trade.

"Cano is one heck of a start, but for this team he's still merely a start. This deal means the M's are "pot-committed" for 2014 and beyond, and now it's time to act accordingly. Otherwise, they're a third- or fourth-place team with a burdensome new contract in tow."

This offseason, the Yankees have traded a couple staples of their offence for new pieces. Along with Cano, outfielder Curtis Granderson also left the Yankees on Friday, moving to Queens to join the New York Mets for four years an $60 million.

But the Yanks have also added catcher Brian McCann, signing the longtime Atlanta Brave to $85 million over five years, and former Boston Red Sox lifer Jacoby Ellsbury for (a reporter) $153 million over seven years.

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