Over dinner at a Manhattan hotel, Mets owner Jeff Wilpon and GM Sandy Alderson met with hip-hop icon Jay-Z and agents Brodie Van Wagenen and Juan Perez to discuss their client, free agent second baseman Robinson Cano, according to Ken Davidoff and Dan Martin of the New York Post.
Cano left super-agent Scott Boras for the Jay-Z-led Roc Nation Sports group at CAA at the start of the 2013 season and he is reportedly seeking more than $300M over ten years from the Yankees. According to Davidoff and Martin, this meeting took place at the request of Cano's representatives.
Mets GM Sandy Alderson recently stated that the Mets are not likely to add another nine-figure salary this off-season, so they appear to be a long shot to land Cano, even if his price drops significantly. Jay-Z and company may be trying to feel out the market for Cano ahead of further meetings with the Yankees or draw out other bidders.
The Mets definitely need to add offensive talent this off-season and signing Cano would certainly do that. However, their current second baseman, Daniel Murphy, has been a solid producer at the position over the last two years and he remains under team control for two more seasons. Cano would be a significant upgrade over Murphy, but outfield help is more of a priority for the Mets. Of course, the team has nothing to lose by meeting with Cano's people and with very little committed to their payroll for 2014 and beyond, they could afford to change course and pursue the Yankees' star if they so desire.
Cano's market has developed slowly so far this off-season. There have been few rumors connecting him to possible bidders and teams like the Rangers and Dodgers, who were speculative favorites to compete with the Yankees for his services have been quiet thus far. Despite the lack of suitors, Cano is sticking to his $310 million asking price at this point, according to Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York. Marchand believes that the market for Cano will be remain quiet for now, since all sides will want to watch the Alex Rodriguez suspension process play out before coming to the table.