Robinson Cano racking up frequent-flier miles in Seattle
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SEATTLE - In the course of his 10-year contract with the Mariners, former Yankee Robinson Cano will be paid $240 million. That's enough to buy his own private plane -- which he might just end up needing someday.
Tucked away in the northwest corner of the country, the Mariners have to fly the most miles of any big-league club. They recently took a 2,720-mile flight from Miami to Seattle after a series with the Marlins and then played the next night.
This season alone, a healthy and productive Cano will be in the air for about 53,574 miles -- 23,037 more than if he had re-signed with the Yankees, who will have to fly only an estimated 30,547 this season.
Extrapolate it over 10 years and Cano will fly more than a half-million miles. That's 230,370 more than if he had stayed with the Yankees -- or enough extra miles for a one-way trip to the moon.
(A round-trip "flyby" ticket to the moon costs $150 million, according to the Virginia-based company Space Adventures. Cano might be able to afford that someday, too.)
Assuming Cano wants to stay on this planet, he'll still have to deal with the effects of being a frequent flier as he goes through his 30s and becomes an ancient Mariner. Cano will be 40 when his contract ends in 2023.
Multiple long flights can take a physical toll on human beings, even well-paid ones who travel on all-first class charters. Along with the basics such as moving around and keeping hydrated, some Mariners have taken to wearing skintight compression garments under their clothing on long flights to try to ward off swelling.
"It's something I'm doing on this year's flights," said Mariners backup catcher John Buck, who spent part of last season with the Mets. "I don't know. My body feels amazing. But I'm not playing as much now. That could be part of it, too."
Buck, who signed with Seattle as a free agent, said the extra travel "definitely goes in the negative side" when a player is deciding which team to join.
On the positive side is Seattle itself. "I love living out here," Buck said. "It's awesome."
If he goes to the All-Star Game (in Minnesota), Cano will travel more than 8,500 miles in July. But that would be only the Mariners' fourth-highest monthly mileage total. Seattle will fly a whopping 10,856 miles in June -- two trips of more than 2,100 miles and four others of more than 1,000. On June 9, the Mariners will fly more than 2,500 miles from Tampa to Seattle before hosting the Yankees the next night. But at least they pick up three hours on the time-zone change.
The Mariners opened the season with a 9,282-mile March/April beginning with their last day in Arizona for spring training. By contrast, the Yankees will have traveled 4,819 miles from the end of spring training in Florida to the end of this month.
The final month of the season will be tough on the Mariners, too. Seattle will fly 9,459 miles in September and does not have a day off in the season's final 17 days.
At least Cano and the Mariners have one thing going for them: It's unlikely that they'll be going anywhere in October other than home. Seattle hasn't made the playoffs since 2001 and entered Saturday night with a 9-13 record.