Cano reportedly agrees to $240 million deal
After several years of missing out on big free agents, the Mariners landed a whopper on Friday when five-time All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano agreed to a 10-year, $240 million deal, according to multiple reports.
The Mariners have not yet confirmed the report, which originally was released by Cano’s camp through ESPN Desportes reporter Enrique Rojas.
The contract terms, if accurate, would equal the deal Albert Pujols signed with the Angels two years ago. Only the two contracts Alex Rodriguez signed, one with the Rangers and the other with the Yankees, have been more lucrative.
Cano, 31, is regarded as the premier free agent in this year’s market and is coming off a season in which he hit .314 with 27 home runs and 107 RBIs in 160 games for the Yankees.
Cano and his representatives flew to Seattle on Thursday and met with Mariners officials, looking for a better deal than the seven years at about $170 million offered by the Yankees.
Early Friday morning, a report by the New York Daily News said that talks between Cano and the Mariners had broken down when his agent, Jay-Z, raised the free agent’s price.
But Cano wound up agreeing later on a deal that dwarfs even the seven-year, $175-million contract the Mariners gave ace pitcher Felix Hernandez last spring, which at the time made him the highest-paid pitcher in Major League history.
Cano has been one of the most-consistent offensive performers in the Majors since 2009, averaging 28 home runs and 103 RBIs per season over those five years. He’s been an American League All-Star and finished in the top six in AL MVP voting each of the past four seasons and just completed a contract that paid him $15 million for 2013.
The Mariners have considerable payroll available this offseason, with only Hernandez ($22 million) and Hisashi Iwakuma ($6.5 million) under any sort of sizable contracts and just two players – Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak – entering the arbitration process.
General manager Jack Zduriencik has been pushing for an impact hitter the past few offseasons, but came up short in efforts to land Prince Fielder in 2011 and Josh Hamilton last year.
Hernandez is the only player under contract beyond 2014 for a Seattle club whose payroll has been in the $90 million range the last few years.