MLB free-agent signings: Robinson Cano joins Seattle Mariners

Scott Halleran

For 10 years and $240 million.

Robinson Cano has joined the Seattle Mariners on a 10 year $240 million deal, according to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Desportes:

". . .los Marineros hicieron a Canó una oferta que no pudo rechazar", dijo la fuente.

Some thoughts:

  • My Spanish isn't great, but it sounds like Jack Zduriencik put a decapitated horse's head in Cano's bed. If Zduriencik were to put a bloody head in my blankets and offer me 10 years and $240 million, I would also accept it, even though doing so might cause some people to question my priorities.
  • That's a very long deal, and an expensive one. It's important, though, to think about salary inflation when evaluation long-term deals. I don't know what the value of a win will be in 2024, but it will be higher.
  • Cano is a very good player, who has posted more than five wins above replacement in each of the past four seasons. That's All-Star level. In two of those seasons he was over 6-fWAR, and in one he was nearly an 8-fWAR. That's MVP level, and difficult to replace, even for the Yankees. That starts to get into territory where the most salient scarcity is a scarcity of baseball talent, not a scarcity of money.
  • That being said, not re-signing Cano means that the Yankees have a lot of money to work with, both this year and over the next several. Even though it may not always appear so, the Yankees are on a budget too, and it looks like the Luxury Tax has finally done what it was designed to do.
  • The question you've all been asking, I'm sure, is "What does this mean for David Price?" I'm not certain. On the one hand, the Mariners have signed an expensive deal now, and will want to field a winning team now. On the other hand, they signed an expensive long-term deal, and will want to field a winning team in the future. Does this make them more protective of their prospects, or less so?
  • One thing that I do know is that Cano's offensive numbers will get worse. According to FanGraphs, Yankee stadium has had a park factor of 103 for the past five years. Safeco Field played neutral last year, but was a very pitcher friendly 94 for years before the fences were lowered and moved in. The decrease in Cano's numbers will not mean that he has become a worse player.
  • I would also bet that people will quit talking about Robinson Cano as a top-tier defensive second baseman. He's fine, but he's not near the best. Once he gets out of the strong media park effect of Yankee Stadium, writers will see him for what he is.
  • This means that we'll get to know Kelly Johnson pretty well this year. Good for him. He's a fine player.
  • It's good to see Cano leave the AL East.

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