Let me get this straight: Even with Robinson Cano posting his usual MVP-caliber numbers, the Yankees failed to reach the postseason. And he wants the largest contract in baseball history? Ca-no thank you.
Time and again, elite ballplayers are proving it’s a bad idea to give lucrative, super-long-term contracts to players over the age of 30. Alex Rodriguez in 2008 and Albert Pujols in 2011 immediately come to mind. Each received a 10-year deal worth at least $240 million.
But Cano is far from on par with what those two were at the time they received their big paydays. At 33, A-Rod was a year removed from his third MVP award, and Pujols was Cano’s age and coming off a second World Series title. Oh, and he was a three-time MVP as well.
Cano hasn’t done enough to warrant such a reward. He’s a five-time All-Star with a World Series ring, but that’s about it. No disrespect to the baseball’s top second baseman, but nothing about those credentials — or this year’s results — makes Cano worth the kind of cash or years he’s reportedly seeking.
It’s fair to say the Yankees’ rough 2013 would have been a disaster had Cano not been around, so it’s a scary proposition to imagine him walking away this offseason. But if it means paying $31 million per year until he’s 40, it would be better to let Cano walk.
Scott Fontana can be reached at email@example.com.