Does Robinson Cano want to be baseball's first $300-million player or not?
After two days of negotiations with the Yankees earlier this week, Cano denied Thursday that he had ever asked for $300 million, although sources told Newsday in September that his representatives had requested a 10-year, $310-million contract.
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"No one has heard that from my mouth and never will," Cano told the newspaper El Dia (via Google Translation).
It could be a matter of semantics. Cano, who is represented by Jay Z's new Roc Nation Sports and CAA's Brodie Van Wagenen, has not dealt directly with the Yankees during these negotiations.
On Monday, Cano's agents had a meeting with Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman, but Cano did not attend. Tuesday's follow-up involved a phone conversation between the two sides -- again without Cano.
A CAA spokesman declined to comment Friday on Cano's interview, other than to reiterate the agency's public stance of not discussing the specifics of ongoing negotiations.
Newsday has reported that the two sides have agreed to continue the dialogue early next week in an attempt to bridge what one source characterized as more than a $100-million gap.
During the summer, sources indicated the Yankees' jumping-off point with Cano was the eight-year, $138-million contract the Mets gave to David Wright last November. The Yankees' offer increased to six years/$145 million and seven years/$165 million before the two sides broke off talks, with the Yankees under the impression that Cano wanted to test the market.
Cano was in the Dominican Republic on Thursday to participate in a parade that honored the country's World Baseball Classic championship last March. He was named the tournament's MVP.
With Mark LaMonica