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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Robinson Cano now has somewhere he can you go deep in the heart of Texas.

Robinson Cano could be the object of the Texas Rangers after Texas just traded their untradable second baseman Ian Kinsler.  Follow the bouncing ball.  Texas dealt Kinsler to the Detroit Tigers for first baseman Prince Fielder AND $30 million, which will let the Tigers move Miguel Cabrera back to first base in 2014 where he may be less injury prone.

Thursday, November 14, 2013  Robinson Cano, where can you go?

Texas has money and Ian Kinsler who is one year older than Cano.  Kinsler's OPS+ has slipped from a career high of 134 in 2008 to 95 and 105 in the last two seasons.  But Kinsler is signed for major bucks through 2018:
2014 $16
2015 $16
2016 $14
2017 $11
2018 $12 team option, $5 buyout.

This post shows that Cano had limited options other than re-signing with the Yankees.  Specifically, Kinsler seemed to all but eliminate Texas.  Also suggesting that Texas would not want Cano was the fact that the Rangers already had a signed veteran shortstop in 25 year old Elvis Andrus and an even younger hot shot shortstop, 20 year old Jurickson Profar, who needs a fielding position.  In his two seasons the Rangers have bounced the highly rated Profar around.  Here are Profar's games played in 2013:
2B 32
DH 20
SS 18
3B 10
LF 4.

So why is the immediate and very conventional wisdom that Texas wants to automatically relegate Profar to second base now that the position is open?  Try this more radical scenario.

Texas trades Andrus and installs Profar at SS and signs Cano to play second.  That would give the Rangers the best hitting players at both second and third (Adrian Beltre - remember, Cabrera will be at first in 2014) and one of the best hitters at first in Fielder.  Supposedly Texas wants to win NOW.

Actually, it's pretty simple.  Except for getting Cano.  All the Rangers need to do is better the Yankee offer.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013  Robinson Cano: is he worth twice his peers?

The money dynamic for the 31 year old Cano can be expressed very succinctly.
1. Cano is already the highest paid second baseman at $15 million in 2013.
2. The Yankees have offered way more than they should in both years and money: 50% raise for seven years.
3. Cano is demanding more than a 100% raise for TEN years.

So if Texas wants Cano he's there for the taking.

If I were running the Yankees, my offer to Cano would be $20 million (33% raise) for four years: total $80 million.

And I'd have a short deadline, maybe Thanksgiving, which is one week away.  Then the offer either is withdrawn entirely or is reduced by one million dollars a day.

According to baseball-reference.com the Yankees paid starting pitcher Jim Bouton $10,000 in 1963, then $18,500 in 1964.  Bouton won 21 games in 1963 and wanted his pay doubled.  In 1964 the Yankees promoted player-coach Yogi Berra to manager and promoted manager Ralph Houk to general manager.  Bouton had been a favorite of Houk's but they could not come to terms and Bouton held out, not reporting to camp in spring training.  Houk was not allowed to fine Bouton so he reduced his offer to Bouton by $100 per day.  After a few days Bouton caved.

Yankee's DiMaggio Could Teach Bouton How to be Holdout
Fort Lauderdale, Fla - UPI  March 10, 1964

Joe DiMaggio ... was a perennial holdout ...

(in 1937) "I held out the whole spring training season and finally signed for what they offered.  But they docked me for the two weeks and five days I lost ... the holdout cost me $1,500"...

DiMaggio recalled he was an almost annual holdout until Dan Topping took over as a Yankee owner.

"That Ed Barrow ... said to me, 'Do you know that Lou Gehrig never made more than $41,000 after playing 13 years for this club?  And what do you think of that, Mr. DiMaggio"?

"All I can say is that Lou Gehrig was underpaid."

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