Robinson Cano's father wants him to be a 'Yankee forever'

Robinson Cano smiles on the field during his

Robinson Cano smiles on the field during his first day of practice during spring training at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2013) (Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.)

TAMPA, Fla. -- With all due respect to his beloved father, Robinson Cano sounded as if he'll leave the negotiating to Scott Boras.

Jose Cano, the bullpen coach for the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team, which worked out at Steinbrenner Field, spoke to reporters early Monday afternoon as his son took batting practice.

Talk naturally took a turn toward Robinson's impending free agency, and Jose said he doesn't think his 30-year-old son would feel "comfortable going to another city."

He said he hopes Robinson will remain a "Yankee forever," then suggested a six- or seven-year deal would do the trick.

One could almost sense Boras, Cano's agent, reaching for his cellphone 2,500 miles away in California to have a chat with Jose.

The younger Cano later dismissed his father's remarks, though with a big smile and a laugh.

Said Robinson, "That's what he says."

Meaning Cano, who already has said it is his desire to stay a Yankee for life, understands this will come down to a business decision -- nothing more, nothing less.

Cano, who will make $15 million in 2013 in the final year of his contract, is all but certain to hit the free-agent market after the season.

The Yankees have made a "significant" offer to Cano, according to general manager Brian Cashman, one that was rejected.

Cano has mostly declined to discuss the contract, but plenty of people have, with his father the latest.

"He loves it a lot," Jose said of how Robinson feels about being a Yankee. "He's been a Yankee his whole [professional] life. I hope something happens soon. Make him feel better and more comfortable. I know he's going to sign for six, seven years, so we're going to see Robinson in the uniform for another [six], seven years."

The Yankees probably would sign up for a six-year deal in an instant. Seven isn't out of the question, either, depending on the accompanying dollars.

But all indications are Boras is looking to get an eight- to 10-year deal for Cano in the range of $20 million-plus per season. Those are numbers the agent believes the second baseman can get and numbers the Yankees' "significant" offer didn't approach.

Though Cano hasn't talked much about his contract in public, he has discussed it with his parents.

"I never do anything [before] talking to my mom and my dad," Cano said. "I'm not a married guy that I can say, let me talk to my wife or anything like that. So the only people I have are my mom and my dad. They're always going to give you the right advice and do the best thing for you. For me, he's the best guy to go and talk to."

Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes went through something similar two seasons ago with the Mets when he was in the final year of his contract. Cano said he has not spoken to him about it, but Reyes offered advice nonetheless.

"Just focus on playing the game because he's going to put his numbers up, he's going to get his money no matter what, because he's one of the best in the game," said Reyes, a teammate on the Dominican team, which is managed by Yankees bench coach Tony Peña. "Not too many people who can do what he can do in the field."

Several days ago, referring to his contract, Cano told reporters, "It's never going to go out of your head." Based on the daily conversations Jose has had with Robinson, his sense is that his son would like the contract to be done as soon as possible.

"We talk about the contract, what's going to happen, before the season starts if he's going to sign the contract or not," Jose said. "I don't know. Whatever happens, we're going to be ready and he's going to play baseball the same way he can play. But I wish something would happen before the season starts."

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