Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is a free agent this offseason. In fact, he's the free agent this offseason, as there is no one on the market with his history or future potential. It's no wonder then that Cano has come out swinging with his initial demands -- according to ESPN's Buster Olney, and confirmed by CBS Sports Jon Heyman, Cano is searching for a deal that would pay him $305 million.
You would be correct in assuming that figure would be a record. The largest contract in Major League Baseball, both at present and ever, belongs to Cano's teammate Alex Rodriguez, who signed for $275 million back in 2008, keeping him in New York through 2017. Heyman reports that Cano was seeking a 10-year deal, which would have made him baseball's first $30 million per year player. The Yankees were not interested, though, and will instead let Cano test the free agent waters.
That's not a bad idea by New York. Cano can ask for this record-setting sum all he wants, but he needs someone to play ball with in order to get close to it. Who could possibly give Cano this kind of deal, or something approaching it? The Dodgers would likely rather give their next mega-deal to Clayton Kershaw. The Angels are already drowning in lucrative long-term deals. Heyman mentions the Cubs as a potential suitor, but also says they feel they're another year from contention.
The Yankees can afford Cano at his most expensive -- even if they offered closer to $140 million earlier this summer -- but it's to their advantage to let Cano ask around to find out if he can even come close to his asking price, in the chance no on else is interested and New York can negotiate a deal for less money than this. This is both sides playing early negotiations right.