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Robinson Cano declines to explain move from agent Scott Boras to Jay-Z

Robinson Cano leaves the field with a big

Robinson Cano leaves the field with a big smile on his face after the Yankees beat the Red Sox to win the American League East title. (Oct. 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

Repeatedly taking the Fifth, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano Wednesday declined to explain Tuesday's move to dump baseball superagent Scott Boras and become the original marquee client for hip-hop mogul Jay-Z's fledgling sports agency, Roc Nation Sports.

In echoing, over and over, that it was "a family decision,'' that "I don't want to go into details'' and that "I just want to focus on baseball,'' Cano did not address the widely held perception that the move indicated he would sooner re-sign with the Yankees than test the free-agent market at season's end.

"I'll let my agents talk about contracts and stuff like that,'' Cano said. "I just want to play through the season, and we can talk at the end of the season.''

He confirmed he has not spoken to Boras. He denied that teammate Alex Rodriguez's experience with Boras, in a messy 2007 game of contract chicken with the Yankees, had anything to do with firing Boras.

Boras, who said he was unaware of any problems in his relationship with Cano, flew to New York after Tuesday's announcement in the hope of meeting with his former client. As of last evening, Boras said he had yet to hear back from Cano, and any chance of a sitdown seemed to be fading.

Cano recently renewed with Boras for another year on March 20, so the timing of his abrupt switch to Jay-Z's new agency was surprising, to say the least.

"Robinson has been great to us,'' Boras said yesterday in a phone interview. "And he had just signed his third contract [with Boras]. There were never any issues.''

Based on that contract, Boras is entitled to a percentage of whatever Cano gets in his upcoming deal. The Yankees' offer to Cano last month was turned down, but Boras had expected the two sides to continue negotiations throughout this season.

With so many prominent Yankees injured and aging, Cano, 30, on Monday was the only man left at the same position from the 2012 Opening Day lineup. A career .308 hitter who last year hit 33 home runs and is considered an elite fielder, his loss would be deeply felt by the Yankees.

"I don't want to speculate on what it means,'' said injured first baseman Mark Teixeira, himself a former Boras client. "I have no idea. The only thing I can say is: I want Robby around.''

With David Lennon

New York Sports