Category: Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano has left for greener pastures after signing a 10-year, $240M contract with Seattle

Robinson Cano will not be wearing a Yankee helmet anymore.

Robinson Cano will not be wearing a Yankee helmet anymore.

The biggest free agent of this offseason, Robinson Cano, is now on the Seattle Mariners. It is hard to believe that the Mariners have signed Cano after their owner exploded and ended the meeting after Jay-Z, who was representing his first high profile baseball player, demanded a contract of 10 years and $252 million. The previous offer that the Mariners had on the table was an eight-year, $200 million deal with assurances that they would go up to nine years and $225 million.

The contract that he ended up signing with the Mariners is for 10 years and $240 million. This means that since last night and this morning they were able to negotiate one more year and $10 million less to settle on the current contract. This proves that the Mariners were all in on making a huge splash and signing their first impact free agent in about a decade. Free agent hitters have often spurned the Mariners because its location allows less marketing opportunities and Safeco Field, which is one of the best stadiums in baseball, gives pitchers the advantage because of its dimensions. The Mariners have also not made the playoffs since 2001. However, Cano obviously could not refuse that contract offer. He now has Jay-Z and CAA to handle his marketing.

The offer that the Yankees had given Cano was a seven-year deal worth between $165-$170 million. They are now proving that they care about getting below the $189 million luxury-tax threshold for next season while fielding a competitive team based on the signings of Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Johnson. Cano, who is 31, is the best hitting second baseman in baseball, has slugged more than 25 homers in each of the past four seasons and has been named to the All-Star team five times. He had also averaged an impressive 160 games played in the last five seasons, which the Yankees will hopefully be able to get out of Ellsbury. Cano was not worth bringing back for more than seven years.

It is hard to blame Cano for accepting $70 million more from the Mariners, but this proves that he values money much more than chance to win every single year. Jay-Z was able to seal the deal after it appeared that as of last night he might have been leading Cano to accept less money by causing the Mariners owner to “explode” last night. Cano was not worth giving a 10-year contract based on recent long-term ones that haven’t worked out.

The Yankees will now likely concentrate on signing Omar Infante who is now the best second baseman on the market. It has been reported that the Yankees have offered Infante an unknown contract as back-up for Cano, so now they obviously need to make the deal. Infante, who is 31, has played eight of his 14 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, is coming off a season where he hit 10 homers, drove in 51 runs and hit .318. He would be able to platoon with Johnson at second base. Johnson hit a combined 32 homers in the past two seasons.

The money saved from not giving Cano the contract that he wanted will be able to go to adding starting pitching, which is needed since they only have CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova and Hiroki Kuroda. Kuroda, who had a 3.31 ERA last season after having an All-Star worthy first half of the season, will be returning on a one-year contract worth $16M. The deal was finalized on Thursday night. They also need another very reliable relief pitcher and a third baseman.

Providing that Kuroda does not suffer a drop off at age 39 and Sabathia bounces back from last season, the Yankees should be able to count on their top three starters.

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Relief pitching and Robinson Cano were the stars of the 3-1 win

Robinson Cano

Robinson Cano

In winning a game that was delayed by rain against they Colorado Rockies, 3-1, Robinson Cano yet again proved that he is the offensive player that the team can least afford to lose. Cano’s 5th inning homer, which moved him past Paul O’Neil for 17th place on the Yankees’ all-time home run list with 186, helped the team win the series.

In the third inning, Cano hit a single up the middle, which turned into his 1,500th career hit. That hit came almost exactly eight years after his first hit as he picked up a single off of Hideo Nomo on May 4, of 2005.

However, upon reading the inscription of the ball, he realized it was not the ball that was his 1,500th hit. It was a lighthearted moment in the middle of the win because the Yankeed had played a prank on the star second baseman.

After a slow start, he seem like he will be in the MVP consideration by the end of the year. He has been critical to the team’s surprising 20-13 record and has easily been the best offensive player on a team that has been without Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli for all or part of the season.

This game, along with many others this season, was highlighted by a bullpen that limited the opposition. After Sabathia allowed a run in four innings, but then didn’t com back after the long rain delay, five pitcher combine to pitch five shutout innings. It was highlighted by Adam Warren, who picked up his first win by pitching 1.2 innings after the delay, and Mariano Rivera, who threw a perfect ninth inning and picked up his 13th save in 13 chances this season.

The trip to Denver saw the Yankees play an unusual series as Austin Romine hit behind the pitcher, David Phelps, on Wednesday, and CC Sabathia only pitched four innings because of rain, combined with it being a very low scoring series, but a series win is always desirable. The Yankees actually won the series even though they only scored six runs.

Joe Girardi’s team is now in Kansas City where they will play a weekend series against the Royals. The Royals (18-13) are half a game behind the Detroit Tigers for first place in the AL Central. They lost their last series to the Orioles, but it looks like the Royals have turned the corner as a result of their improved pitching.

>Yankees finally win a game ending a six game slide

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The Yankees won 6-2 over the Rays at Tropicana Field, snapping their six game losing streak.  Ivan Nova had another solid start, which was his fourth quality start in his last five.  Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada showed signs of a resurgence in the win off of James Shields.
That was Rodriguez’s 59th multi homer game of his career, which gave the Yankees a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth.  He had recently been struggling having gone 1 for 13 in his last three games.  Posada was able to come back from his three day self-imposed hiatus with two hits.  This was much needed based on his very disappointing start to the season.    
The turning point in the game might have been David Robertson’s two straight strikeouts of B.J. Upton and Casey Kotchman after he came in with one out in the sixth after Nova was taken out of the game with the bases loaded.  Even though the offense showed signs of a resurgence, Robertson is the player of the game because he entered the game in a pressurized situation and was able to get out trouble.  The 26 year-old hurler now has an impressive 26 strikeouts in 16.2 innings.  He was able to secure the win for the starter which the bullpen or offense had been unable to do many times so far.    
During the top of the seventh, with the Yankees only up 2-1, Gardner showed guile laying down a perfect bunt for a single with Evan Longoria playing back, to advance Posada to third.  This was crucial because the Yankees have not been bunting well at all this season.  Then Chris Dickerson, who got called up today because Rafael Soriano was put on the DL, and arrived just before the game, hit a clutch single to score Eduardo Nunez who was pinch running for Posada.  In the ninth inning Nunez was able to lay down a successful sacrifice bunt to put Russell Martin into scoring position.  Gardner was able to capitalize on Martin being in scoring position adding another hit with a runner in scoring position.  
There were only a few negatives in this much needed victory.  Robinson Cano committed his third error in the field after only three errors during his Gold Glove 2010 campaign.  He should be able to revert to his 2010 form and cut down on his defensive miscues.  Even though Derek Jeter was able to add on an insurance run with a two out RBI single in the ninth, he was otherwise 0 for 4 with three strikeouts.   
Hopefully this is the game that turns the offensive production around, and this victory is even more meaningful because it came off of James Shields who came into the game with a 4-1 record and a 2.08 ERA.  The Yankees were able to salvage a much needed split during this brief two game set in Florida as they head to Baltimore to face the talented young hurler Zach Britton tomorrow night at Camden Yards. 
With the split of the two game series, the Yankees are still two games behind the Rays and are only two games ahead of the last place Orioles.  The AL East appears to be more balanced than it has been in a long time which proves how valuable all the division games will be this season.  

>Yankees need to score runs for their ace

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In the first game against the Boston Red Sox on Friday night the Yankees troubling patterns continued which prevented them from winning the game.  They ended up losing 5-4 in a game they should have been able to win based on a strong start by Bartolo Colon. 
In the seventh inning with the game still tied Robinson Cano had the chance to convert a double play he bobbled the throw to first.  He never got the throw off and if he did Kevin Youkilis might have never hit his two run home run to make the score 5-2.  Little miscues like that go a long way towards winning or losing  and if he would have finished off the double play it is likely that Joba Chamberlain does not give up that home run. 
The Yankees ended up having some success against the Red Sox bullpen scoring one run off of Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon but they could not capitalize effectively with runners in scoring position, once again.  The offense left eight runners on base and Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada and Mark Teixeira need to start to produce for the Yankees to win.  Curtis Granderson has proven to be a clutch hitter and has completely turned it around since last August but the rest of the lineup needs to do the same. 
Chamberlain can partly be blamed for this loss, but his two earned runs were the first runs that he has given up after having gone six scoreless innings.  He should not have allowed the home run but the offense is more at fault for this loss.  They spoiled yet another solid pitching performance by a starting pitcher.  This loss hurts even more because the Yankees are now 1-3 against the Red Sox who are only three games behind them in the standings, at this point. 
It is important that the Yankees win the next two games so that they can salvage a split in this six game home-stand.  They want to win as many games as possible against the Red Sox because this will likely be a three way race between the Rays, Red Sox and Yankees.     
Tonight, in a game televised on FOX, at 7:10, CC Sebathia will look to outduel Josh Beckett this time.  Earlier in the season, the Red Sox ace got the upper hand, so hopefully Sebathia can help give the Yankees a much needed win.  The offense will hopefully find a way to play small ball, as well as hit the ball out of the park, and get hits with runners in scoring position, in order to give CC his fourth win of the campaign.   

>Derek Jeter continues his turn around to help the Yankees win the series

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In the final game of the road trip, and the rubber game against the Rangers, the Yankees offense finally showed signs of life, in their 12-5 victory Sunday afternoon.  The Yankees theme of playing sloppily in the field continued but Derek Jeter’s breakout game essentially makes up for it. 
Jeter achieved two firsts on the season during the Yankees beat down over the Rangers.   He was able to hit his first two home runs in consecutive at bats, and also steal his first base of the season.  The Captain had three hits on the afternoon, and after a slow start to the season, his average is up to a respectable .276.  Over the last six games Jeter is hitting .393 which makes it seem like his work with hitting Coach Kevin Long is really making a difference.  Jeter has also proven how valuable he is in the field because in his 115 chances he has only made one error, but his backup to this point, Eduardo Nunez, has made five errors in his six games which is unacceptable.
Francisco Cervelli was the most unexpected offensive hero from Sunday’s game because he is usually a singles hitter and not a power hitting home run threat.  The score was 6-5 in favor of the Yankees when Cervelli hit a grand slam in the eighth inning to effectively put the game out of reach.  He drove in Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner, and he even locked shocked at what he had just done when he was rounding second.  In 141 games played this was only Cervelli’s second home run but it came at the right time because the team really needed an offensive outburst. 
The one glaring negative from this game was that the defense committed four errors.  Two of them were by CC Sebathia and he surely should have come up with the second one cleanly.  Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez, who are usually very reliable in the field, fell victim to their first error of the season.  The Yankees were able to capitalize off of facing Dave Bush instead of Alexi Ogando, who was out with a blister on his right index finger, and then the middle of the Rangers bullpen, but against better pitchers they will have to limit the miscues. 
In their last five games the Yankees have made an astronomical nine errors, only going one game without a miscue.  This can’t continue and the errors during Sunday’s game could very well have cost them a victory.  However, one shouldn’t dwell on the negative because they were able to win the series against the Rangers, and the Yankees are still tied for first place.  The Yankees have too many productive fielders to continue this ineffective defense and the offense is starting to turn the corner.
They have an off day before a three game set against the Royals in the Bronx, who have gotten off to a surprisingly strong start.  The Royals were supposed to be a year away because they have the top rated prospects in baseball but it is still unlikely that they will stay in the race past July.  Kansas City is 18-16 so far, which is good for second place in the AL Central, but only 3-8 on the road so the Yankees should be able to sweep or at least take two out of three.  
Many of the Yankees have hit well against the Royals including Jeter who has hit .317, Robinson Cano whose average sits at .320 with 27 RBI and especially Alex Rodriguez who has a .328 average, with 44 home runs and 118 RBI against the frequent cellar dweller from the Central division.  On Tuesday night, the Yankees will send Freddy Garcia to the hill, and the Royals will start a struggling Kyle Davies.