Robinson Cano wasn't exaggerating in earlier reports: He's still looking for a 10-year, $310 million contract this winter, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN. It's unclear what teams, if any, would be willing to give the second baseman that heavy of a commitment, but he hasn't softened his stance in recent weeks.
The New York Yankees still want to bring back their best player, but that contract is reportedly too rich even for their blood. The team is trying to keep its payroll under $189 million in 2014 for luxury tax purposes; by staying under that threshold, they will not only avoid the tax for next year, but also eliminate the cumulative effects of having surpassed it several times in previous seasons. Last year, the team paid a record-high $29.1 million luxury tax penalty.
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Due to these payroll concerns, the Yankees are unlikely to offer more than $210 million to Cano, reports Marchand. However, with the status of Alex Rodriguez and his $27.5 million luxury tax hit up in the air as Major League Baseball reviews his suspension appeal, there is still the chance that New York could find itself with some extra cash with which to play. If A-Rod's season-long suspension is upheld for the 2014 season, then the team would not have to pay his salary, clearing up space for the one season needed to get under the threshold.
The Yankees are not the only team interested in Cano. The Texas Rangers have expressed interest, although it's unclear where he would fit into a team that already has three star middle infielders for two positions. The Los Angeles Dodgers haven't been linked to the slugger since they signed Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero, but they always have to be considered a dark horse candidate for any big free agent given their recent behavior on the market, though, owner Magic Johnson has publicly said the Dodgers won't be chasing him.
Cano, who turned 31 in October, would be 41 years old in the final season of a theoretical 10-year contract.