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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cano isn't worth a huge contract.

Robinson Cano may be the all time Yankee second baseman but the Yankees should not break the bank to sign him when he becomes a free agent after the season.

Cano's OPS+ so far this season is 143.  Among batters since 1903 who qualified to lead the league in an average stat, Cano is tied with Evan Longoria (also 2013) and many others for number 1,328.

How does Cano's 2013 season (143) rank among second basemen?  Tied for number 66 with:
Craig Biggio 1997
Chuck Knoblauch 1996
Davey Johnson 1973; see August 31, 2010
Those 1973 Atlanta Braves: was there something in the water?

Top ten seasons for second basemen:
Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Rogers Hornsby 222 1924 28 STL NL 143 642 536 121 227 43 14 25 94 89 32 2 13 5 12 .424 .507 .696 1.203 *4
2 Rogers Hornsby 210 1925 29 STL NL 138 606 504 133 203 41 10 39 143 83 39 2 16 5 3 .403 .489 .756 1.245 *4
3 Rogers Hornsby 207 1922 26 STL NL 154 704 623 141 250 46 14 42 152 65 50 1 15 17 12 .401 .459 .722 1.181 *4
4 Nap Lajoie 203 1904 29 CLE AL 140 594 553 92 208 49 15 5 102 27 19 8 6 29 .376 .413 .546 .959 *46/3
5 Rogers Hornsby 202 1928 32 BSN NL 140 621 486 99 188 42 7 21 94 107 41 1 25 5 .387 .498 .632 1.130 *4
6 Nap Lajoie 199 1910 35 CLE AL 159 677 591 94 227 51 7 4 76 60 18 5 21 26 .384 .445 .514 .960 *43
7 Rogers Hornsby 191 1921 25 STL NL 154 674 592 131 235 44 18 21 126 60 48 7 15 13 13 .397 .458 .639 1.097 *4/7653
8 Rogers Hornsby 187 1923 27 STL NL 107 487 424 89 163 32 10 17 83 55 29 3 5 3 7 .384 .459 .627 1.086 *43
9 Joe Morgan 186 1976 32 CIN NL 141 599 472 113 151 30 5 27 111 114 8 41 1 0 12 2 60 9 .320 .444 .576 1.020 *4
10 Rogers Hornsby 185 1920 24 STL NL 149 660 589 96 218 44 20 9 94 60 50 3 8 12 15 .370 .431 .559 .990 *4
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/10/2013.

OK, so Cano is not Rogers Hornsby or even Joe Morgan.  How about among Yankees?

Rk Player OPS+ Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF GDP SB CS BA OBP SLG OPS Pos
1 Tony Lazzeri 159 1929 25 NYY AL 147 639 545 101 193 37 11 18 106 68 45 4 18 9 10 .354 .429 .561 .991 *4
2 Joe Gordon 154 1942 27 NYY AL 147 625 538 88 173 29 4 18 103 79 95 1 7 22 12 6 .322 .409 .491 .900 *4
3 Robinson Cano 150 2012 29 NYY AL 161 697 627 105 196 48 1 33 94 61 10 96 7 0 2 22 3 2 .313 .379 .550 .929 *4/D
4 Snuffy Stirnweiss 145 1945 26 NYY AL 152 718 632 107 195 32 22 10 64 78 62 1 6 9 33 17 .309 .385 .476 .862 *4
5 Tony Lazzeri 145 1928 24 NYY AL 116 464 404 62 134 30 11 10 82 43 50 1 15 15 5 .332 .397 .535 .932 *4
6 Robinson Cano 143 2013 30 NYY AL 90 388 337 50 99 17 0 20 59 44 13 51 3 0 4 11 5 0 .294 .376 .522 .899 *4/D6
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/10/2013.

Better but still behind two Hall of Famers.  Gordon was MVP in 1942.

Cano was born October 22, 1982, which means that when the 2014 season starts he will be 31.  The Yanks should make him a nice offer for four years at which time he will be 34 in the final year of that contract.  Cano would be 37 in the final year of a seven year contract   Older than that and the Yanks are right back where they are now with Derek Jeter 39 and Alex Rodriguez almost 38 struggling to get out of the minors and join the Yankees after major injuries.

The Yankees are correct in trying to get their total payroll under $189,000,000 for next season.  Then they will avoid the luxury tax and be able to sign young free agents like Giancarlo Stanton or Mike Trout or Bryce Harper in the next few years.

Teams allocate about 40% of payroll for pitchers and 60% for the rest.  Even with a $200,000,000 payroll that's still only $120,000,000 for non pitchers.  That averages out to $15,000,000 per season for each starter.  Obviously a team must also pay reserves and not all starters will receive that much.

But some people state that the Yankees should pay Cano $25 to $30 million dollars per season for at least seven years.  That's nuts, especially for a guy who's good, but not that good.

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