Saturday, October 20, 2012
Robinson Cano's impending free agency and contract that follows will be the talk of the season next year in between Alex Rodriguez soap operas in 2013. Robinson Cano's agent Scott Boras came out today and reported that his client, Cano, will be looking for a ten year deal with "top of the market" money to go with it. What Scott Boras wants Scott Boras tends to get, after all he was the man who negotiated not one but two ten year "above and beyond the market" money deals for teammate Alex Rodriguez. I never like to look ahead an offseason so all I will say is that a lot can happen in the 2012 season that can either aid or prevent him from getting such a monstrous deal. I will also add that if anyone on this team deserves it, 2012 post season withstanding, it is Robinson Cano.
We have heard that the new "qualifying offer" sheets that essentially replace arbitration in the new collective bargaining agreement will pool the salaries of the best 125 players in the league and average their salary. We have heard speculations anywhere from the high $11 million's to the lower $14 million's but the official number came down the pipe today and it sits at $13.3 million.
The Yankees have some decisions to make in this department after the World Series. Guys like Rafael Soriano if he opts out, Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, Curtis Granderson (although his option is almost a lock to be picked up), Robinson Cano (see Curtis Granderson), Russell Martin, Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Ichiro Suzuki, Raul Ibanez, Freddy Garcia, Derek Lowe, Pedro Feliciano, and Mariano Rivera all set to be free agents after this season.
Obviously you only consider offers to Soriano, Swisher, Kuroda, and MAYBE Ichiro if I am making the decisions. I would not waste my time on Mariano Rivera because he is not going anywhere and Granderson and Cano's options are as close to locks as humanly possible. I believe that Soriano would decline, Swisher would decline looking for the security of a multi year deal, Kuroda would decline due to either money or a willingness to go back to Los Angeles, but Ichiro would scare me. I would not put it past Ichiro to sign a one year deal, regardless of the team, and the $13.3 million would not be a huge discount from what he is accustomed to making.
Either way the only two that would be willing to accept in my eyes, Kuroda and Ichiro, are the two guys that I would not mind having back on the 2013 team. I say offer qualifying offers to those four men and hope we get them back on one year deals to help with the luxury tax goal or we get a ton of draft pick compensation.
The Yankees knew that they were overpaying for a set up man when they signed Rafael Soriano after the 2009 World Series Championship season. They really knew they overpaid when they slid Soriano into the 7th inning behind Mariano Rivera and David Robertson but they always had those opt out clauses in their back pockets. Soriano declined to opt out last season after a lackluster 2011 campaign but a bounce back 2012 campaign will likely end Soriano's time in pinstripes. Rafael Soriano is expected to opt out after the season is over and look for a multi year deal to be someone's closer. The Yankees are expected to offer him a qualifying offer to try and get some sort of draft pick compensation for Soriano after he leaves.
The Yankees announced that they will pick up Curtis Granderson's team option for 2013 keeping him in pinstripes for one more season at $15 million. Even if he struck out 300 times next season and had a Russell Martin type batting average he is still better then anything we could potentially get on the free agent market. The trade market is obviously a whole new ball game though but I digress because we have five days after the World Series to pick up the option and it makes too much sense not to. The Yankees have no willingness to pursue a multi year extension with Granderson after 2013 either but a lot can change in a season.