We've known for a little over a week now that the New York Yankees had one or two discussions with Robinson Cano about a long-term contract extension, and had said that they will continue the talks sometime in the near future. What was not known until now, however, was where the two sides stood in the negotiations.
"Nowhere close," appears to be the answer. There appears to be a significant difference in the the "talent assessment or valuation" of Cano by the Yankees versus agent Scott Boras, reports Jon Heyman of CBS Sports:
The Yankees recently began multiyear contract negotiations with star second baseman Robinson Cano, but a resolution appears nowhere in sight.
Early indications are that [their issues] begin with at least a significant difference in either talent assessment or valuation, suggesting a decent likelihood that Cano... has a pretty decent chance to become a free agent at year's end.
With where the two sides currently stand, Heyman speculates that it will take some considerable work on the both sides of the aisle for a deal to be hashed out before Cano hits the free-agent market. It is believed that Cano, 30, will seek at least a 10-year contract, while the Yankees -- who are still suffering the throes of A-Rod's decade-long deal -- are likely hoping to cap the deal at eight years.
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According to Heyman, the Yankees view Cano as a top 10 or top 15 player in the league, so they want to pay him like one. Cano and Boras, however, seem to think that the second baseman's three consecutive top-six finishes in the AL MVP voting warrant a closer look:
"There are few elite players. That just is a very short list -- less than five," Cano's agent Scott Boras said...
"Robinson is happy being a Yankee, and both sides recognize that this is one of the elite players in the game."
Complicating matters for the Bombers is their goal to get under the $189 million luxury tax threshold by next season. The club's payroll for the coming season currently sits at roughly $208 million, according to Cot's Contracts.
If the Yankees end up having to pay Cano like a top-five "elite player" rather than top 10 or 15, then they may not have the flexibility needed to get under the cap.