Just yesterday, I wrote about the (supposed) Death of Free Agency, with Exhibit A being Robinson Canó as perhaps the only premier free agent on the market next winter.
Now Canó has reportedly dropped Scott Boras as his agent and gone with, shall, we say, more show-bizzy representation.
I say "reportedly" because there's been no official word. From Boras, anyway:
Not so fast, Robinson: spoke to Boras who said, "I haven't spoken to Robinson, and I hope to." Cano is still under contract, sources say.— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) April 2, 2013
Seems like a technicality, as paperwork takes time and Canó might just be avoiding a really awkward phone call. Assuming that Canó does make the move, here are some details from Ken Rosenthal:
He will be co-represented by CAA, a leading sports and entertainment agency, and Roc Nation Sports, a branch of a company founded by Jay-Z.
Jay-Z announced the launch of Roc Nation Sports as a full-service sports management company on Tuesday.
Cano, 30, previously was represented by Scott Boras, one of baseball’s most powerful agents.
CAA has a strong history of keeping star players with their current clubs, as evidenced by the agency's deals for San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey and right-hander Matt Cain; Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun; Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman; Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier; Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard; and Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones.
It's been generally suggested that Canó's move means that he's more likely to sign a new deal with the Yankees during this season, and maybe that's true ... but let's not make too terribly much of this. If that's really what Canó wants, Boras probably wouldn't have stopped him. Granted, if you want something and your representative keeps saying "Yes but" over and over, that might well become tiresome.
My guess, though, is that this is largely about Canó wanting to be more than a baseball player. He's one of the greatest baseball players on the planet, but what percentage of Americans have even heard of him? I don't know if there's anything that he or CAA or Jay-Z can do to change that -- aside from some scandal, I mean -- but when you're talented and wealthy, you tend to think you should be famous, too. And Scott Boras is better at making guys rich than famous.
The problem for Boras is that just about any big star is going to become incredibly rich no matter who his agent is. Boras has an incredibe track record with amateur players, for whom he essentially takes over. Sometimes it hasn't worked out so well for the players, but usually it has. Sometimes established major leaguers don't want someone like that, though.
Last weekend, the Times published a well-reported piece by David Waldstein about Alex Rodriguez's current contract with the Yankees, in which it seems that Boras and Rodriguez didn't want exactly the same thing. Granted, everything worked out okay in the end. Financially, anyway. But Canó is the Yankees' third star -- after Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira -- to fire Boras. After a while, maybe you just want to feel like you're running your own life.
For more about Canó and the Yankees, please visit SB Nation's Pinstriped Bible.