****UPDATE**** Friday Dec. 6, 6:55 am: According to ESPN’s Buster Olney:
Free-agent second baseman Robinson Cano, after traveling to Seattle on Thursday to meet with the Mariners on an offer that sources say was expected to approach $250 million, was not prepared Friday to make a decision, sources have told ESPN.
This doesn’t bode well for the Mariners. Stay tuned.
****UPDATE**** 10:35 pm. Jon Heyman is reporting that the offer stands at 9-years $225 million, outbidding the Yankees by at least $50 million.
****UPDATE**** 10:30 pm. So Jay-Z has a concert Friday night in Los Angeles. He can’t stay in Seattle too long tomorrow. If a deal isn’t signed by tomorrow morning, it may not happen by this weekend, if at all.
****UPDATE**** 9:15 pm. Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times says:
The Mariners’ courtship of Robinson Cano continued on Thursday in a more intimate setting. Sources confirmed that the free agent second baseman flew to Seattle, along with his representation led by Brodie Van Wagenen and rapper Jay-Z, to meet with upper level Mariners management, Thursday evening and into Friday.
Note the “into Friday” part. I guess we need to be patient.
****UPDATE**** 9:00 pm. Two and a half hours since Cano landed in Seattle and no word yet. I think that’s a good sign.
****UPDATE**** 8:30 pm. According to Sweeny Murti, Cano is disappointed with the amount Jacoby Ellsbury was offered compared to his own offer. Both sides might be ready to move on.
****UPDATE**** 7:18 pm. According to Ken Rosenthal, Cano signing with the Mariners would be the dumbest move by a free agent since A-Rod went to Texas.
****UPDATE**** 6:30 pm According to Enrique Rojas, Cano has just landed in Seattle
****UPDATE**** 5:00 pm Ryan Divish reported that Jay-Z (Cano’s manager) is also on the flight to Seattle tonight, further indicating that something may be happening very soon. Jon Heyman is also suggesting that the Mariners might be offering 9 years – $225M.
***** UPDATE**** As of 3:30 pm, Ken Rosenthal is reporting that Cano is on his way to Seattle tonight, but the deal may not have been $240MM as previously leaked.
It would seem that isn’t the case for the Mariners, as the latest rumor to hit the news is that the Mariners are prepared to offer Cano somewhere between $230-240 Million for a 10 year contract.
— MLB Trade Rumors (@mlbtraderumors) December 5, 2013
That’s a lot of money. A lot of money.
This could be the Panic Move that we were hearing about yesterday. If this all turns out to be true, then the Mariners might actually give us something to be excited about. Bringing Cano to Seattle opens up a bunch of different possibilities for the team’s future.
Sure, $230 mil is probably an overpay for Cano, but in this case it’s about more than bringing in a star player. Bringing Cano to Seattle is definitely going to give other players a reason to consider Seattle as a destination.
Cano would prove to us, and other free agents, that the team might actually be serious about winning some games. After all, as much as we all like Seattle, it’s understandable that big name players simply won’t want to move to a losing ball club.
If the Mariners are actually able to lock him up for ten years, there is potential for a long rebuild centered around the All-Star second baseman.
This deal is far from done, but with that kind of money on the table the Mariners are forcing decisions to be made. The Yankees have said they don’t want to pay that much, but if they step up their offer, that would probably be the end of the big-name signings in the Bronx for this year.
There are also a lot of implications in Seattle. If Cano steps into second base, that frees up either Dustin Ackley and Nick Franklin to be traded. Yesterday’s reports that David Price was being shopped around may well come to be if the Mariners are able to deal one of those two. (Yes, Taijuan Walker was also in those rumors, but it seems there’s a lot of fans who think Walker isn’t worth giving up).
The winter meetings are approaching, and landing a name like Cano would do a lot to make us think that the Mariners are very serious about how they want to build the ball club. If this turns out to be true, this could be huge.