Robinson Cano says there's nothing new in contract talks

Robinson Cano of the Yankees looks on after

Robinson Cano of the Yankees looks on after striking out to end the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (June 23, 2013) (Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Robinson Cano doesn't want to talk about his contract negotiations with the Yankees. Maybe because there's not much to talk about.

"No contract,'' he said yesterday at an appearance at the MLB Fan Cave in Manhattan. "Nothing new right now. That's not in my mind at all. I just go out there and focus on playing.''

Talks between the club and the free-agent-to-be's new agents are at the point that "not much is going on,'' according to a source familiar with the situation.

Talks have been informal since Cano switched agents, leaving Scott Boras in April to become the first baseball client of rap impresario Jay-Z's fledging Roc Nation agency.

Jay-Z recently was certified to represent baseball players, but Cano's talks are being handled by veteran agent Brodie Van Wagenen of CAA in partnership with Roc Nation.

According to the source, no numbers have been exchanged recently, only "floated,'' including the idea of a contract that would equal or surpass Alex Rodriguez's record 10-year, $275-million deal.

That floated idea immediately fell to the ground like a lead balloon. The Yankees are not interested in retaining Cano for that amount, according to the source, who added that he expects common ground to be reached eventually.

There was a thought that when Cano left the hard-charging Boras, it could expedite contract talks. But that has not been the case as of yet.

Cano, 30, is batting .276 with 16 home runs and 45 RBIs in 75 games. In his first eight seasons, he hit .308 with a .351 on-base percentage and .503 slugging percentage, averaging 22 home runs, 89 RBIs and 182 hits.

In February, the Yankees made what general manager Brian Cashman termed a "significant offer'' to Cano when he still was represented by Boras. The club strayed from its usual policy of waiting for a player or executive or manager to complete his contract before entering into negotiations for a new one. That's a measure of how much they value the homegrown Cano.

Last night, Cano appeared at Jay-Z's 40/40 club on Broadway for an event benefiting his charity, the RC24 Foundation.

Asked about the negotiations, he said: "Honestly, I don't really pay attention to that. We've just got to focus on winning games. Either way, at the end of the season, I'm going to be a free agent.''

Cano later clarified that he didn't mean it can't get done before the end of the season.

With Stephen Haynes

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