I love my Yankees.
(Yes. They are mine.)
But I really hope they are talking a smart approach to extension talks with all-world second basemen Robinson Cano.
Cano is entering the final season of a deal signed in February of 2008 and will make $15 million before hitting the open market as a free agent.
While an extension seems highly unlikely because Cano is represented by Scott
Bor-ass Boras, a man known to loathe the very idea of letting a player (let alone a stud like Cano) bypass testing the market in their prime, because it’s the Bombers and their deep wallets this shouldn’t come as the least bit of a surprise.
Now the conventional thinking among Yankees fans is going to go something like this gem I pulled off a sports forum thread today:
“If they let Cano walk because of some piddling, luxury tax-inspired lowball offer the Yankees deserve to come in last place in 2014.”
I am not going to lie, I disagree. I mean I really disagree.
This, my friends, is one of those horror movie moments where the Yankees, playing the role of the recently sexed up camp counselor, has to decide if they really want to go outside and investigate that strange sound they heard.
And we all know how that scenario typically ends.
Now make no mistake. Cano is a beast.
The guy can flat out rake (all tables via Baseball-Reference.com).
He has missed a total of twelve (12) games the last six (6) seasons and gives you a 300+ average, 30ish HRs and 100+ RBIs from a position that typically doesn’t give you those kind of numbers, second base.
But you want to know the biggest reason why they should think long and hard about giving him anything more than say five or six years?
It’s because he plays second base.
Don’t believe me?
Let’s look at a Hall of Famer and one of the greatest 2B’s to ever play the game, Roberto Alomar.
After three seasons he completely cratered in terms of productivity and was not even good enough to make a big league roster at the half way point of the deal.
Let’s look at another Hall of Famer, this time Ryne Sandberg.
Different legend, same story.
If given the same ten year deal at the same age you’d see three very productive seasons followed by a cratering effect that would make Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich blush.
By the half way point of said deal he was for the most part done as a major league ball-player.
How about another Hall of Famer, this time Joe Morgan?
Amazingly it is the exact same scenario.
Very productive at age 30, gives you a few years of same general level of production….then by 34 his numbers go chasing after Ed Harris into “The Abyss”.
What’s that, you want a more contemporary comparison?
How about Chase Utley, a man thought to not only be Cano’s equal just a few years ago, but considered by many to be his superior?
One of the best second basemen the league had ever seen then right on queue in his early thirties the productivity all but disappears.
For whatever reason the position of 2B does not age well. Not the least damn bit.
So as the Yankees move forward in these discussions they would be wise to take anything longer than six years off the table or just walk away and be done with it.
They don’t have to look any further than their own ten year, in-house disaster that is Alex Rodriguez to understand this point.
But if they do baseball history is more than willing to play the role of the rowdy theater audience, screaming “oh for the love of God you fool, don’t go outside!!!”