Aug 31, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano hits a RBI double against the Baltimore Orioles in the 1st inning during the game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Munson/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Robinson Cano: Why It Makes Sense

While Seattle Mariners fans are patiently waiting for the top brass to do something this offseason, one name that keeps popping up is that of Robinson Cano.

The 31-year old second baseman has indicated that he wants a 10-year $310 million deal. The Yankees are not prepared to offer Cano that kind of cash. I’m not sure the Mariners are either, but they could be in the hunt.

George A. King III of the New York Post recently wrote about the situation and how the perennial big spenders are already set at 2B, therefore the market for Cano could be diminished:

The wild card in the picture could be Seattle, which has the finances to make a splash. But would Cano really go all the way to Seattle to play for a losing ballclub?

And what about the marketing factor Cano said played a part in him leaving Scott Boras for Jay Z? There isn’t much money to be made in pitching coffee and bad baseball.

Not much money in pitching coffee? Tell that to Starbucks.

But that’s all beside the point. Why would Cano want to come to Seattle? Here are some reasons why it would work.

The Mariners could give Cano the money he wants

Cano wants $310 million. The Yankees are offering a 7-year deal worth $160 million. The two sides are apart by over $8 million a year and three years.

The Mariners could come in with a 10-year deal worth$270 million with incentives that could push it to the $310 he wants. The scary thing is, the Mariners would still have money to get other free agents.

If Seattle signed Cano at $27 million/year, they could still add Jacoby Ellsbury ($20M), Carlos Beltran ($14M), Matt Kemp via trade ($21M) or Nelson Cruz ($16M) along with Matt Garza ($14-$16M) a DH ($10-$12M) and some bullpen help ($8-$12M) and be around $115M for 2014′s payroll.

Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports

We know the Mariners have money to spend. Not sure if they want to go that high, but they could. And those moves in addition to Cano would go a long way to convince Cano that he wouldn’t be coming over to a loser.

The Stadium isn’t a problem

Yes, the Mariners moved in the fences this past season. It was designed to generate more offense and it worked. The Mariners were 2nd in the majors in round-trippers in 2013.

One thing that people point to as a negative for Cano coming to Seattle is that playing 81 games in Safeco would diminish his power numbers.

According to’s Home Run Tracker, every one of Cano’s 27 homers in 2013 would have cleared the wall at Safeco.

Single season turnarounds aren’t impossible

Finally, for those who truly think Cano wouldn’t come to Seattle because of their recent struggles, I point to the 2012/2013 seasons of the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox.

Both teams had abysmal 2012 seasons (68-94 for Cleveland, 69-93 for Boston). In 2013, each team made some offseason acquisitions, hired a new manager and had dramatically different seasons in 2013 (92-70 for Cleveland, 97-65 and a World Series for Boston).

Insert an asterisk or something of course. Results may vary, see store for details, offer expires Dec, 31, 2013. So on and so forth. I am not in any way suggesting that if the M’s sign Cano and a handful of other free agents that they will go from 91 losses to 91 wins. But it is possible.

Maybe it’s a pipe dream, but think about what the lineup would look like in 2014:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
  2. Dustin Ackley (LF)
  3. Justin Smoak (1B)
  4. Robinson Cano (2B)
  5. Mike Napoli or Kendrys Morales (DH)
  6. Kyle Seager (3B)
  7. Mike Zunino (C)
  8. Abraham Almonte (RF)
  9. Brad Miller (SS)

I think a turnaround in 2014 would be certain. I think Cano knows it, his agents know it and that’s why I think Seattle has a shot.

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  • tedsfrozenhead

    You are rushing Zuninio. The bottom 1/3rd of the order is a bit suspect as are Ackley & Smoak. But if Dustin & Justin realize their potential this year and Miller, Almonte and Zunino scratch theirs we have a real lineup for the first time in years.

    No way Beltran is considering Seattle though.

  • drwheelock

    Dan – I’ve been posting exactly the same stuff as you are saying in this article. The reason is the following:

    Here’s the thing though with Seattle, unlike all other bigger market teams:

    1. Safeco Field is just now PAID OFF, so no stadium payments or lease payments. (FYI: A’s just signed their stadium lease for $1.75M for 2014).

    2. MLB TV Deal adds $25M to every MLB team.

    3. Mariners taking ownership in ROOT Sports Network is similar to the Yankees YES Network. HUGE versus the Rangers and Angels new TV deals. Meaning Mariner’s even make money on ALL other Seattle/Oregon sports whether fans show up or not at a Mariners game!!!!!!!

    4. Only $32.5M committed right now to 2014 contracts according to COTS.

    5. Lincoln just stated yesterday that we will be surpassing last years “$95M Budgeted” payroll even though we only spent $84M last year.

    6. #3 MLB Farm System Z has built since Bavasi ram-sacked & depleted our Farm System.

  • drwheelock

    2014 OFFENSE
    CF Ellsbury ($20M)
    LF/DH Gutz ($2.5M) and LF Ackley
    2B Cano ($30M)
    RF Kemp ($16M) or Braun “if” possible ($10M)
    DH/1B Morales ($10M) Or Napoli
    1B Smoak (Against ONLY RHBs) Slip Morales or Napoli @ 1B against LHPs
    3B Seager
    SS Miller
    C Zunino and (C/DH Montero)

    2014 ROTATION
    Garza OR Colon

    * Sign Closer Nathan $9M

    All those trades/signings would be approaching $119M “if” no money was coming back in the Kemp trade, but I’m guessing $3-5M/yr in cash would be coming back from the Dodgers on the Kemp trade.

    That $118M team is light years “ahead” of the 2008 $118M team Bavasi ram-sacked our Farm System to field.

    • Aaron

      You’re one of the only people adding Guti back in next years lineup, I definitely think we get him cheap and play him till he’s hurt and then put in Saunders from there or Almonte or Ackley (depending on OF signings.)

  • Jeff

    Who cares if Cano “wants” $310m, if the M’s go for him, no way they should offer that figure. If someone had offered him what’s proposed, he’d have already signed and been off the market. That’s an asking price that even Cano’s side probably assumes nobody will be paying.

  • maqman

    Cano isn’t coming to Seattle, neither is Beltran and I hope Cruz isn’t either. I’m in favor of Hart, (if not Hart then Napoli) Morales, Ellsbury, Tanaka, Kazmir and Colon. If they get Tanaka then scratch Ellsbury and trade a package of one of Kuma, Paxton of Walker and a piece or two of Smoak, Saunders, Franklin, etc for a good hitting outfielder with team control for 3 or 4 years. Kemp is too big of a risk at too high of a cost, Ethier would be easier to digest. We could talk trade with the Dodgers for Joc Peterson and the only Seager we don’t own.