Yankees president Randy Levine and general manager Brian Cashman had a face-to-face meeting with Robinson Cano's representatives in midtown Manhattan Tuesday, and a person with knowledge of the get-together said the two sides plan to continue the dialogue Wednesday.
But the person, who was speaking on the condition of anonymity, cautioned against reading too much into the renewed discussions, saying, "there's a very, very sizable gap here."
Cano, easily the most accomplished offensive player available on the free-agent market this offseason, has been seeking a 10-year contract worth more than $300 million and the Yankees have offered seven years in the range of about $170 million, according to sources.
The meeting, which was said to have lasted about an hour, did not include hip-hop mogul Jay Z, who heads the agency representing Cano. Instead, Cano was represented Tuesday by Brodie Van Wagenen of Creative Artists Agency and Juan Perez, president of Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports.
Roc Nation Sports, created last year, has a partnership with CAA. A spokesman for Jay Z's agency said its policy is to decline to comment on active negotiations.
The meeting, which is believed to be the first in-person sitdown between the two sides since the regular season ended, comes on the heels of comments made by Yankees officials in the past week that appeared to be thinly disguised messages to Cano.
Last week, Levine said the Yankees are "not waiting around for anybody." Cashman said, "We're not looking to be dragged out -- by any player."
The Yankees didn't wait long to prove their point, agreeing over the weekend to a five-year, $85-million contract with former Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann. A Yankee Stadium news conference introducing McCann could be held early next week.
The market for Cano, meanwhile, has been slow to develop.
He's coming off a season in which he hit .314 with an .899 OPS in a lineup with little protection, and he also played strong defense at second base. But this offseason, Cano has struggled to find potential suitors.
Just last week, Cano's agents requested a meeting with the Mets' hierarchy where -- with Jay Z present -- they pitched the Yankees' crosstown rivals on the benefits of signing the second baseman.
The timing of that meeting was especially eye-opening considering that Mets general manager Sandy Alderson had just said publicly that he didn't foresee signing a free agent to a contract worth more than $100 million, let alone $300 million.
While Cano's side was seeking leverage in the negotiations with the Yankees, the team was moving forward on other free agents.
In addition to securing McCann, the Yankees also have expressed interest in signing former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran.
Beltran, who turns 37 next April, made no secret of his desire to play for the Yankees when he was a free agent for the first time following the 2004 season. Before he signed a $119-million deal with the Mets, he offered their crosstown rivals a discount close to $20 million.
Beltran's final years with the Mets were ravaged with injuries, but he has been relatively healthy in recent years, playing an average of 146 games the last three seasons.
Beltran hit .296 with 24 home runs in 554 at-bats last season with the Cardinals.
He turned down their qualifying one-year offer of $14.1 million in hopes of signing a multiyear contract.