clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Where will Robinson Cano sign?

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Robinson Cano switched agencies recently.

Scott Boras, you over baby
Robinson Cano, you coming with me

He moved to something of a high-profile agency looking to do high-profile things with their first big client. Those are Jay-Z lyrics, and Cano is with his the rapperpreneneur 's new Roc Nation agency. They have big ideas.

The kind of big ideas that, if you hear on the radio while driving, will make you do a u-turn on the freeway, pull off on the side of the road, scale a fence, run 900 feet, dash into a gas station, and buy a bottle of water just so you can spit it out and say, "Ten years and $310 million?!?" And even if you were to do that, you'd wonder if you didn't do enough to express your shock appropriately.

Robinson Cano's 31st birthday was last week. Happy birthday, Robinson Cano!

The age might not mean as much for a player who's missed seven games since 2006, most of them simple rest days. Cano is nothing if not durable. But second basemen don't exactly age like a fine wine or Tom Waits album. They're bananas and Skid Row. Here's a master list of second basemen with three or more two-win seasons after turning 31.

Rk Yrs From To Age
1 Eddie Collins 10 1918 1927 31-40 Ind. Seasons
2 Jeff Kent 8 1999 2007 31-39 Ind. Seasons
3 Joe Morgan 8 1975 1983 31-39 Ind. Seasons
4 Lou Whitaker 7 1988 1994 31-37 Ind. Seasons
5 Charlie Gehringer 7 1934 1940 31-37 Ind. Seasons
6 Nap Lajoie 7 1906 1913 31-38 Ind. Seasons
7 Willie Randolph 6 1986 1991 31-36 Ind. Seasons
8 Miller Huggins 6 1910 1915 32-37 Ind. Seasons
9 Mark Ellis 5 2008 2013 31-36 Ind. Seasons
10 Craig Biggio 5 1997 2005 31-39 Ind. Seasons
11 Frank White 5 1982 1987 31-36 Ind. Seasons
12 Bobby Grich 5 1980 1985 31-36 Ind. Seasons
13 Davey Lopes 5 1976 1983 31-38 Ind. Seasons
14 Eddie Stanky 5 1947 1951 31-35 Ind. Seasons
15 Joe Gordon 5 1946 1950 31-35 Ind. Seasons
16 Chase Utley 4 2010 2013 31-34 Ind. Seasons
17 Mark Grudzielanek 4 2003 2007 33-37 Ind. Seasons
18 Randy Velarde 4 1995 2000 32-37 Ind. Seasons
19 Ryne Sandberg 4 1991 1996 31-36 Ind. Seasons
20 Red Schoendienst 4 1954 1957 31-34 Ind. Seasons
21 Billy Herman 4 1941 1946 31-36 Ind. Seasons
22 Buddy Myer 4 1935 1939 31-35 Ind. Seasons
23 Frankie Frisch 4 1930 1934 31-35 Ind. Seasons
24 Rogers Hornsby 4 1927 1931 31-35 Ind. Seasons
25 Del Pratt 4 1919 1922 31-34 Ind. Seasons
Rk Yrs From To Age
26 Claude Ritchey 4 1905 1908 31-34 Ind. Seasons
27 Jamey Carroll 3 2006 2009 32-35 Ind. Seasons
28 Placido Polanco 3 2007 2009 31-33 Ind. Seasons
29 Ray Durham 3 2003 2006 31-34 Ind. Seasons
30 Bret Boone 3 2001 2003 32-34 Ind. Seasons
31 Roberto Alomar 3 1999 2001 31-33 Ind. Seasons
32 Cookie Rojas 3 1971 1973 32-34 Ind. Seasons
33 Jim Gilliam 3 1961 1963 32-34 Ind. Seasons
34 Connie Ryan 3 1951 1953 31-33 Ind. Seasons
35 Jackie Robinson 3 1950 1952 31-33 Ind. Seasons
36 Bobby Doerr 3 1949 1951 31-33 Ind. Seasons
37 Lonny Frey 3 1942 1946 31-35 Ind. Seasons
38 Max Bishop 3 1931 1933 31-33 Ind. Seasons
39 Larry Doyle 3 1918 1920 31-33 Ind. Seasons

It's a longer list than you might think, but remember what the parameters are. A two-win season isn't exactly special. It's okay. And the cutoff is three of these seasons. Cano wants to be paid like an eight-win player for 10 seasons. Let's see if there are any second basemen who could claim half as much -- four wins for five seasons after turning 31.

Three. All of them before World War II. Even the all-time greats with longevity at the position -- Joe Morgan, Lou Whitaker, Jeff Kent -- wouldn't have been worth half of Cano's ideal contract. Again, the three who did qualify would have been worth Cano money in about half of the seasons during the life of the contract.

Here's a list of teams crazy enough to spend $300 million on one player:

  • Dodgers

And a list of teams who have already signed a second baseman in the last month:

  • Dodgers

Not that the Dodgers aren't crazy enough to stick Alexander Guerrero at third and sign Cano. But for now, let's assume they're more interested in re-signing Clayton Kershaw and going after Masahiro Tanaka than a second second baseman.

That leaves a lot of teams that would be interested in Cano. Really, really interested. Willing to pay something crazy, something like Prince Fielder money if they got the chance, willing to agree to a contract with a good chance of being an arodian debacle in five years. But ain't no one touching $300 million.

I could see the Orioles spending a lot, considering the relative youth and cost of most of their best players. They could deal with a clunker of a contract, at least for a while.

The Tigers probably don't have a ton left to spend, but maybe Mike Ilitch is looking for one more big score.

Maybe the White Sox or Mets would be interested in a return to free-spending glory, and they could certainly use Cano.

But there is no team that comes even close to needing Cano as much as the Yankees. It's a team that is absolutely built on the idea of short-term success. Everything about the Yankees screams "NOW NOW NOW" because there are clouds approaching. Look at the roster and figure out who'll still be good in three years. Maybe Brett Gardner and Ivan Nova. Those are the long-term cornerstones.

Even with Cano on the roster, the Yankees still weren't a playoff team last year. Without him, they have no shot. What will they do, trade the last vestiges of the farm for Brandon Phillips? Even if they pull all the stops to get the second-best second baseman on the market, he'll still be half as good as Cano, at best. That doesn't help the team that's already tobogganing down the other side of contending mountain.

No, the Yankees need Cano, even beyond the PR-related idea that Hall of Fame Yankees don't leave. And I think after all the offers come back, Cano will realize he needs the Yankees, too.

Prediction: Yankees, eight years, $226 million. Which will seem absolutely hilarious at the time, and even funnier as the years progress.

Except we all know the Yankees will win the World Series at some point during the contract, just because.

For more on the Yankees' pursuit of Cano, please visit Pinstriped Bible

More from Baseball Nation:

If David Ortiz were a free agent, what would he make?

So it turns out the Red Sox weren’t bad or boring

David Ortiz, Jack Morris, and the majesty of Cooperstown

The Red Sox won … and so did you!

Missing Tim McCarver