Sean Casey breaks down the MLB off-season
The Seattle Mariners have pulled off quite the shocker, reeling in All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano with a ten-year deal worth $240 million. The contract matches the one Albert Pujols signed with the Angels in December of 2008, the third largest in major league history.
Letting free agents walk, especially players of the caliber of Cano, hasn't exactly been the Yankees' M.O. over the years. They set a maximum offer at $200 million and apparently didn't budge when Cano and his agent Jay-Z demanded more.
Instead of paying Cano $240 million, they allocating nearly the same amount to two other free agents on the market. Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian McCann agreed with the Yankees for a combined $238 million, two players for two million less than they would have had to pay Cano.
Cano will be 31 on Opening Day and 40 in the final year of the deal, a year he will make $24 million. By then he may have to switch to first to remain effective.
But for the short-term, the Mariners are getting one of the most consistent offensive players in the game. The five-time All-Star has finished with American League MVP votes in five consecutive seasons, ranking in the top six in each of the last four. He has a .309 career batting average and hasn't hit below .300 since 2008. He's also held an OPS of .870 or better in each year since then.
In Cano and ace Felix Hernandez, the Mariners now have two of the game's top ten players. Hisashi Iwakuma is also an elite starter. The rest of their roster, however, is filled with aging veterans and under developed prospects.
The Mariners produced the second least amount of runs of any AL team in 2013, so offense is a concern. But they also gave up the fifth most in the majors. Seattle, a 71-91 team, is more than a player away from competing for the playoffs. Cano, though, is certainly a great start.