Mariners rumors: Seattle targeting Robinson Cano

Scott Halleran

The M's could be willing to offer Cano the years and money the Yankees won't. This offseason is officially bananas.

The Seattle Mariners have emerged as "major players" for free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano, reports Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York.

With the New York Yankees holding their ground in their refusal to give Cano more than seven years and $160 million, the M's could step in and offer him that elusive eighth year, according to Matthews' sources.

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Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik wouldn't admit to meeting with Cano specifically, but did tell ESPN's Andrew Marchand on Tuesday that they have "talked to everybody," which would have to include the coveted second baseman.

The M's have a lot of money to play with this winter -- only $32 million is tied up in 2014 payroll -- and are reportedly "desperate to put people in the ballpark," so their pursuit of Cano would seem to make some sense. The team just graduated a top prospect, Nick Franklin, to the keystone at the big-league level last season, and also have Dustin Ackley on the roster, but neither is likely to provide the impact that would stand in the way of Seattle signing Cano.

The Mariners have also been tied to Carlos BeltranNelson CruzJacoby Ellsbury and Grant Balfour recently, so it's unclear where the team would stand with Cano if they were to sign one or more of those other players. Beltran has a three-year, $48 million offer on the table from a mystery team, which many believe to be Seattle.

The Yankees' chances of re-signing Cano now stand at "less than 50/50," per Matthews. The club last met with its former second baseman last Tuesday, where it's believed he was presented with a seven-year, $160 million offer. That is a long way off from the nine years and $252 million Cano is reportedly hoping for, which is significantly down from his original 10-year, $310 million asking price.

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