Addressing Literally Everything About Robinson Cano

Jeff Sullivan · December 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Let’s just face it: we’re hopeless. We’re all hopeless, and by definition there’s not really anything we can do about it. We have no prayer of being able to properly understand a ten-year, $240-million contract. We’re not wired for the right perspective; we can’t balance the long-term against the short-term. Executives have the same problem. Maybe I shouldn’t say problem — perhaps natural deficiency. We’re short-term thinkers. We have to be. We want what’s immediately satisfying, and it’s worth acknowledging that by the end of the Robinson Cano contract, the people in charge won’t be the people in charge anymore. Even good executives tend not to last that long, at least below the ownership level. Who the hell can see ten years? Who the hell can see three years? Who the hell can see a month? How far back in your own life do you have to go to find the oldest point at which you figured you’d be where you are today? And there’s literally nothing you know better than you.

We all have a sense of what’s right and wrong, long-term. We all know on some level not to have the extra slice of pizza. Many of you have probably set up retirement accounts. Many of you probably haven’t contributed enough. Even when we know we’re doing the right thing for the future, there’s no immediate reward for that, and we naturally want what’s rewarding now. It’s why we splurge on unnecessary things and then justify it by saying it’s been a hard week, or we’ll save money later, or what’s one little extra expense? We suck and we can’t not suck. Even when we know what’s absolutely right, it can be unappealing if we don’t get a short-term benefit. Save money for retirement and you actually lose money, effectively, today.

The Robinson Cano contract is probably worse than you think, and on some level you probably know that. You probably know, objectively, that these things generally turn into problems, sometimes ultra fast. This is less like the first Alex Rodriguez contract, and more like the second one, the second one that’s causing even the New York Yankees major problems. This could conceivably look bad for five, six, even seven years. But those are years in the future, and we don’t know what those situations are going to be so we can’t hope to relate to them. The feeling right now is that the Mariners added one of the best players in baseball, by surprise. They did that! Cano is outstanding! He won’t be, later, when he’s still expensive, but we can’t approach this with the right balance. Even if we can put the right balance on paper, it isn’t what most of us will feel.

I mean, I know this probably isn’t wise, and I’m still damned excited. How couldn’t I be? Cano is as good as a position-player version of Felix. Hard to make a bigger upgrade with one single transaction. Instantly, we get to think about the playoffs again, even if the odds remain slim. They’re considerably less slim, and the Mariners aren’t finished augmenting. This is the feeling the Royals pursued a year ago, and it’s a real thing. Buzz is a real thing, and everyone in Seattle is talking about the Mariners today while the Seahawks look like they can practically coast to the Super Bowl.

This is one of the very biggest events in Mariners history. It was huge when the Mariners re-signed Felix, and it was huge when the Mariners re-signed Felix again, but Felix was already a Mariner, and for some reason his loyalty has never wavered from the start. Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson were big, but this is bigger than both of those combined. This is Seattle taking a superstar away from New York. It’s a money thing, of course. It’s not like the Mariners are more appealing than the Yankees as a team to play for at the moment. Cano doesn’t have a particular bond with Seattle yet — he signed for the biggest deal. The Mariners knew that, in order to lure Cano, they’d have to out-bid the Yankees by an awful lot. But now that this has happened, maybe next time the Mariners don’t need to out-bid the competition by so much. In the minds of players, this does make Seattle more alluring, because they’ve attracted a star and now they’re trying to win. It’s a factor, even if we can’t really measure it.

And while some of the above words might seem skeptical or cynical, to be perfectly honest I don’t think this is a catastrophe, per se. No, I wouldn’t have wanted to pay Cano $240 million over ten guaranteed years. He’s going to be 40. 40 is old and Cano is going to be not good by then. But I would have been okay offering Cano a hell of a lot, so it isn’t about the total commitment — it’s about the difference between the total commitment and a reasonable big commitment. There are ways Cano makes sense as a $200-million man. There are ways he makes sense as an eight- or nine-year acquisition. The Mariners aren’t wasting $240 million. They might fail to get a return on some fraction of that.

The key to making this sensible, though, is to get even better, right now. Cano doesn’t make good sense on this contract on this team, if this team were finished building. With a deal like this, the value is toward the front. The idea is to win toward the front. So now the Mariners have to try to win toward the front, while Cano is still good and not a squawking albatross. Cano has to be one of several moves as the Mariners target a window between 2014-2016 or whatever. It’s not like it would be impossible for the Mariners to win around a declining Cano, because he’ll be one guy taking up one fraction of the payroll, but this has to move the plan up. The Mariners are signaling that it is time to win.

And they’re busy, at this very moment, trying to do other things. The Mariners aren’t close to done, as silly as that might sound on the heels of giving out a quarter of a billion dollars. They’re going to address the rotation and the lineup and probably the bullpen, and while maybe this isn’t the absolute ideal plan, there are ways to go about this more smart and less smart. For better or worse, the Mariners now have their current team and their current budget with the current landscape of available players. They need to build a contender, and it isn’t impossible.

I should hope they don’t trade Taijuan Walker and more for David Price. One of the potential consequences of going for it is the front office making a bad trade. That wouldn’t be the fault of the Cano acquisition, but they would be related. My preference, if anything, would be to overpay for a free agent. It would be great if they could avoid overpaying, and a guy like Bartolo Colon has my interest. I have little interest in adding to 2014 by subtracting talent from 2014 at the same time. Like to keep Walker. Like to keep James Paxton. Seems like Nick Franklin is all but gone, given, you know, but you can stomach losing Nick Franklin given a good enough return. There’s a Robinson Cano in the way.

Basically, there’s reason for short-term hope, now, but the front office has plenty of work still to do. There are good and bad potential approaches, and there are approaches that would leave the team in better and worse shape later on. I should hope that the Mariners leave themselves enough for the future, even going for it today, and that’s still possible, but I’d be lying if I said I weren’t fearful. This is a volatile time, with plenty of emotional upside and mirroring emotional downside. This is salvageable. This is exciting. This could be a mess that leaves the organization in tatters.

Something I wouldn’t feel right ignoring — free agents tend to be lousy investments, on average. At least, underwhelming investments. A theory is that free agents are a selected group of guys their old teams let go. I don’t know exactly how negotiations went with Cano, but he’s getting ten years and $240 million from the Mariners, and word is the Yankees wouldn’t go past seven years and about $175 million. Cano, in New York, was a homegrown superstar. The Mariners beat the Yankees by three years and something like $65 million. What does it say, that the Yankees themselves didn’t want to come close to this, despite their financial strength? Maybe they’re just overly conservative. Maybe they’re wrong. Maybe they’re absolutely right, and the Mariners will be in some long-term trouble. Even if Cano makes the Mariners more relevant today, how long does that effect last, if he gradually declines and becomes a problem a few years down the road? Nothing about this is permanent. It will all come down to player and team performance, in the end.

It’s always my preference to overpay in money instead of talent, given the condition of necessary overpayment. As a friend said a few days ago, giving away talent is final. The Mariners are rich, and they ought to get richer, and they say they’re boosting payroll. Even in the worst-case scenario, the Mariners can afford the Cano contract, and he won’t sink the organization. Individual players can’t really do that. If Cano sucks in 2018, and he’s getting paid $24 million, and the Mariners’ payroll is in the low nine figures, that still leaves enough flexibility that Cano can’t shoulder all of the blame. These things get tricky when they add up, and people exaggerate an individual contract’s ability to cripple. It will be bad if Cano gets bad ahead of schedule. In turn, that would simply require that the Mariners be better with their remaining money, if they want to not be bad too. That would be on whoever’s in charge.

And maybe Cano ages extremely gracefully. By the end of his deal, his salary won’t be worth what it looks like in today’s money. Everybody understands, even Cano himself, that ten years from now he’ll be a shell of what he is at the moment. Everybody knows he’s going to get worse, instead of get better. No one knows how he’ll get worse, and everyone knows he’s starting from a lofty level of talent. This is justifiable. This is enormous.

And this is risky, and it’s going to lead to subsequent risks. All that’s left to do for the moment is hope that the front office does a good job the next couple weeks. There are ways to make the Mariners good, around Cano and Felix Hernandez. There are ways to make them good that don’t involve giving up too many present and future assets. Right now, they’re on the bubble of wild-card contention, and more upgrades could put them in the thick of things in the AL West. The Mariners are a real baseball team again. Now it’s a matter of making sure that lasts.

Comments

37 Responses to “Addressing Literally Everything About Robinson Cano”

  1. Xteve X on December 6th, 2013 3:22 pm

    The great unknown is how soon does Cano turn into a pumpkin. If it’s Year 4 then that’s pretty much what they expected. If it’s Year 2, they’re screwed.

    But I get it — they had to go all in at some point before Felix is out of his prime. Now we get to see if they can buy their way to competitiveness or contention.

  2. casey on December 6th, 2013 3:35 pm

    There is a huge loss leader side to this signing as well. The value of that investment is front loaded as well – Cano and his contract will be legend in 8-9 years time. I keep reading the word “credibility” today – hard to think that one player, one signing, one expenditure of a swack of cash could restore credibility of something that has been so un-credible for so long. But short term it will have that effect:

    It will help other players, other gms, other media see Mariners as a serious player
    it will put bums in seats and sell beer immediately (more so if it leads to other good things) – and hopefully revenues will result in competitive spending on players, coaches, gifted GM’s, owner’s reps
    It will open doors for other team building opportunities in the future that don’t have to be so front loaded
    I think I even saw something on another blog about how Cano will get Seager etc. better respect with umps / strikezone

    As Jeff notes a lot of short term benefits – the Mariners need to make the most of those opportunities if this deal is not going to be painful over the long run.

  3. fcb on December 6th, 2013 3:43 pm

    My whole opinion on this matter comes down to one sentence of this (excellent) post:

    ” This could be a mess that leaves the organization in tatters.”

    You’re absolutely right, but here’s the beauty of being the Mariners right now.

    THE ORGANIZATION IS ALREADY IN TATTERS.

    There’s really nothing left to lose. I’m glad the Mariners did something, that while could turn out to be stupid, was at least stupid in a way that gets me excited about the team again.

    Another note on this contract as it relates to overpaying for WAR…over the life of the contract the analysis on the cost of a win doesn’t factor in the time value of money and inflation. sure, the second half of this contract grossly overpays for WAR by 2013 measures, but like salaries, the cost of WAR will inevitably rise over time. I am under no illusion that Robinson Cano will be grossly overpaid at 38, 39 and 40 years old. But its not quite as bad as Dave’s cost of win analysis would make it seem, because over the time horizon of the contract, the cost of a win is going to rise substantially. That’s just a simple law of economics.

    This is my first post on here in several years. Couldn’t be happier about this signing. in ten years we can worry about a washed up over paid cano. for now lets rejoice.

  4. naviomelo on December 6th, 2013 3:52 pm

    If you have few good players and few salary obligations, you have fixable problems.

    If you have few good players and crippling salary obligations, you have an organization in tatters.

  5. IwearMsHats on December 6th, 2013 3:53 pm

    This is really anecdotal but I think it can apply to others. After last season I was totally checked out of the Mariners. I didn’t want to hear anything Ms related and was cynical in everything they did and said.

    I was all in for awhile after the trade for Cliff Lee and from that point my fandom had been totally worn down.

    After this signing I can say I’m checked back in and much like the days following the Lee trade I am constantly looking at resources of Mariners news/baseball news. The Mariners have been calling me constantly to try to get me to repurchase season tickets and every time I’ve been ignoring their calls. Now I am almost ready to pick up and give them my money. We’ll see how the rest of the off-season goes but now I’m interested again.

  6. sawsatch on December 6th, 2013 3:55 pm

    As a fan, this is good probably for at least 5 years. Enjoy it. If you can’t enjoy this, then you might as well just not bother watching baseball in Seattle.

  7. ck on December 6th, 2013 4:21 pm

    The M’s have acquired Robinson Cano, a very good player. I hope the front office will try to get more good players. Having several good players will lead to more wins, and make the Mariners relevant again.
    Money ? What money ? Whose money ? Won’t the RSN pay the bills ? The Yankees and Rangers and Dodgers and Angels all think so…

  8. RaoulDuke37 on December 6th, 2013 4:28 pm

    In 8 or so years we’ll be facing one of the following situations:

    1) Rampant Inflation: Cano’s contract is a steal.
    2) The End of the World are we Know It: No one cares about Baseball.
    3) Everything will pretty much be the same: Cano’s overpaid compared to his production and the contract from hell is directly responsible for the terrible state of the Mariners.

    Who cares. 2014.

  9. Westside guy on December 6th, 2013 4:30 pm

    Like last year, I don’t think it’s wise to look at just this one move in isolation and decide whether it’s good or bad. Let’s wait and see if Jack actually has a plan… and, if so, what other pieces of the puzzle are yet to come.

    At least Cano isn’t another 1B/DH type. :-D

  10. PackBob on December 6th, 2013 4:36 pm

    The M’s for the same money could have given Willie B an 80 year contract or had a team full of Willie Bees.

    All contracts are pretty similar except for the money. You hire a guy and hope he performs and doesn’t get injured. The M’s have had the Willie B alternative for a few years now. At the very least it’s refreshing to have something new.

  11. MrZDevotee on December 6th, 2013 4:36 pm

    But comparatively, to other positions/players out there aging currently, Cano is on the most positive end of most scales…

    He isn’t speed dependent. Plus he’s a second basemen, so he gets fewer defensive plays, and isn’t as speed dependent as say Ellsbury as far as decline goes (see: Jeter, still a major league starter).

    Even when his power diminishes (Dingers!) he’s still a contact/average guy, with a good OBP.

    I still think this was the PERFECT time to do an overpay, based on all the really BAD contracts for guys who don’t age gracefully (1B to DH transitioners) over the past few years. Fear was rampant. And there’s only one guy out there that doesn’t exhibit any warning signs– and we got him (vs Ellsbury who has shown himself to be somewhat fragile, including BoSox fans who lament he won’t play unless he’s 100%… Whereas Cano has averaged 159 games the past 5 years).

    It was never going to be cheaper than this to go WAY overpay (and even as Dave pointed out on Fangraphs, he’s actually a good deal the front end of this contract). There’s no denying we got a better deal than the Pujols deal– based on the decline curves of the two players, at the same price. He’s simply NOT one of those guys. As far as aging, his skills are more Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter, Omar Vizquel than Pujols, Werth, Hamilton…

    I hate all these long term deals as much as the next guy, and feel relieved that we swerved and avoided the high speed crash into the lightpoles named Pujols, Fielder, Hamilton, et al. But Z signed THE ONE GUY who is most likely to actually be able to complete his contract and still be a contributing baseball player.

    Hell, AFTER signing Cano I’m kinda okay with resigning Ibanez, who is the age Cano will be when his contract is in its last year. Ibanez’s only goal next season is to teach Robinson Cano how to still be playing MLB at the age of 41. He’ll be his mentor. They’re assigned to each other this offseason, and next regular season.

    If I stare at math I get really nervous about this deal. REALLY nervous. BUT! If I stare at Robinson Cano and his highlights, I’m all in and totally 100% in favor of it.

    Now let’s get busy building around him!

    Go M’s!

    (Great day for Seattle sports, with the Chris Petersen upgrade for the Huskies concurrently happening!)

  12. TheMightyMariner on December 6th, 2013 4:38 pm

    I still don’t like this deal.However, I dislike it a little less right now. The Mariners got some cash in a new TV deal and they’re spending it. We’re going to have to overpay for significant free agents; boy did we ever. This won’t be as bad if we can get a couple of hitting outfielders and maybe a starting pitcher and closer.

    I will make myself feel better and assume the M’s will increase their payroll so they aren’t hamstrung by the Cano deal. Also, Cano has been healthy and not involved in any drug scandals so there is that. Ugh. OK. I guess this is the change we’ve been looking for…it just doesn’t look the way I envisioned it hahaha :)

  13. amnizu on December 6th, 2013 4:43 pm

    I give Cano a better chance at being worth his contract over the next two years then I do Bloomquist.

  14. stevemotivateir on December 6th, 2013 5:03 pm

    @Westy

    Watch, they ditch Smoak, keep Franklin, and switch Cano to 1B with the idea of protecting his health.

  15. Snuffy on December 6th, 2013 5:12 pm

    OK… it’s done. For better or worse the M’s are on a new course… so now what is the next step? Signing a starter to slot in at #3 beats the heck out of trading T. Walker. No time to celebrate, let’s push hard NOW!

  16. Mekias on December 6th, 2013 5:29 pm

    Cano for $240 million is like eating a doughnut. It’s absolutely delicious and gives us an immediate and certain positive reinforcement. That’s the most powerful kind of stimulus.

    Like eating a doughnut, we know that there are negatives involved, from simple weight gain to other potential health problems. But those negatives are in the future and are uncertain.

    We’re fairly positive the end of this contract will be bad but it’s far in the future and there’s a possibility that Cano continues playing well throughout the life of the contract. Therefore we tend to downplay that potentially scary future and choose to focus on how freakin’ delicious that doughnut is.

    Yum!

  17. Westside guy on December 6th, 2013 5:38 pm

    Mmm…. donuts.

  18. argh on December 6th, 2013 6:00 pm

    Money has a time value. Somebody up above mentioned inflation — that’s part of it and another part is what you can earn on current money to pay off future debt. Put together it’s a discount rate and you can kind of, sort of, value the ‘current’ dollar cost of future payments. In this case, if Cano earns a flat $24 million a year for 10 years and a combination of inflation and increases in Mariner earnings on their investment equaled 5% annually (really a pretty modest amount), Cano’s take is magically reduced to $143 million. Nobody thinks long term inflation will be less than 2.5% and I doubt many people think Mariners’ revenue/profits will grow at only 2.5% in real terms. If the team back-end loaded the deal, the cost is even lower as has been observed by most everyone. Relax. On a 10 year basis it’s chump change.

  19. The_Waco_Kid on December 6th, 2013 6:10 pm

    “There‚Äôs really nothing left to lose.”

    Technically, we have 1 thing to lose. Our youth/prospects. Things are grim, but not as bad as 2008. We still need to avoid Jones/Choo type trades. This signing is so much better than a Walker-Price trade.

    Also, as Westy said, it all depends what the plan is. I like the idea of ditching Smoak and playing Cano at 1B. I have more hope for Franklin than Smoak.

  20. argh on December 6th, 2013 6:33 pm

    Some of Cano’s value comes from being a good defender at 2nd though — wouldn’t the time to transfer him to 1st is when he starts losing a step? Of course if you think Franklin’s a truly plus prospect perhaps you pick up that defensive value for cheap-to-nothing with him and protect Cano’s longer term value as a hitter at 1st.

  21. G-Man on December 6th, 2013 7:19 pm

    I don’t like it. Too many eggs in one basket. I like Dave’s “Pick A Plan” piece, where he spells out how a lot of smaller but significant moves would bring equal value for less money.

    I don’t know if I will ever get used to these long contracts that are guaranteed to look bad years before they expire. It is such a psychological downer to look at these guys produce 1/10th the WAR they’re being paid for in a given later year, even if it was really the necessary “signing bonus” to get him on board.

    I will grant one thing – there are a lot more positions where the M’s can improve in future years under this plan compared to Dave’s. If the additional money is there in a year or three, more 1-2-3 WAR pieces can be added.

  22. argh on December 6th, 2013 7:43 pm

    One consideration in Dave’s multi-player plan is that the odds of executing are problematic — dealing with 4 players and 4 agents and perhaps 4 teams makes each signing a fractional probability. To get all four you have to multiple those multiple fractional probabilities (whatever you think they are) and look at those odds — for example, if each one is an 80% probability of signing then the probability of successfully signing all 4 would be a bit over 40%. And you need to think about what happens if you end up with only half or three-quarters of a ‘plan’ — what backup deals are available? The reason we love this game….

  23. fcb on December 6th, 2013 7:58 pm

    argh articulated very well what I alluded to in my earlier post about TVM. add in the fact that wins will cost more over time, and Dave’s analysis of a contract like Cano’s had considerable holes. in 2023 a win is going to cost a hell of a lot more than it does in 2013. Cano will still be overpayed, but it wont be as bad as Dave made it out to be.

  24. smb on December 6th, 2013 8:46 pm

    I’m ready to face that I am hopeless, and so now I’m just going to revert to childlike wonder as best as I can, and try to always appreciate the simple joy of getting to see this guy don my favorite team’s jersey. If history is any indication, that will be damn near every game of the season for at least the next few years. This is special.

    The next steps become ultra-critical, though…I think core philosophy of growing from within should remain the same…specifically don’t trade your top prospects in any kind of misguided “win now” veteran-grab. Do NOT get taken advantage of again. Remind yourself that this would all be much easier if you still had Adam Jones, if necessary.

  25. groundzero55 on December 6th, 2013 9:17 pm

    And there go the Yankees and Red Sox signing every other notable free agent. At least the two gone today are the ones I didn’t want to come to the M’s. Napoli and Beltran. Two guys I don’t see aging well.

  26. bongo on December 6th, 2013 9:58 pm

    Today I found myself shouting back at the radio as a parade of callers gushed over this deal. If Seattle is so undesirable that an $8 million/year premium is needed to get free agents to come here, then the solution is to terminate the management and replace them with people who can build an environment that good players will want to be part of.

    The Seahawks did it in only a few years.

  27. smb on December 6th, 2013 10:02 pm

    False equivalency alarm, though…the Mariners play 82 games away from Seattle, the Hawks play 8 (plus playoffs). It’s the miles…it’s got to be a big part of it, anyway. They unfortunately have to travel more than any other team.

  28. Don Money on December 6th, 2013 10:17 pm

    Can’t compare football and baseball, football is a young man’s game with much shorter career spans and a hard salary cap, as well league wide profit sharing (with only a few loop holes. If you do want a comparable Seahawks to Mariners example, think back to Chad Brown. The question is, will Robby Cano bring snakes? This will prove to be a great move fro the M’s and M fans.

  29. Bodhizefa on December 6th, 2013 10:36 pm

    The M’s have such a weird collection of talent right now. They have three second basemen, no first baseman worth mentioning, and a a platoon center fielder (Saunders). They still need to fill 1st base, DH, LF, RF, and find a platoon partner for Saunders in CF. I’ll be very interested to see if Ackley or Franklin end up at first base in 2014.

    Here’s hoping the purse stays open for a good long while. I’m hoping they go hard after Hart, Colon, Choo, and Youkilis. And if they want to trade for a guy like Cuddyer, I’m all for it as well.

  30. Sodomojostrikesback on December 6th, 2013 11:08 pm

    Given the recent signings the Twins have made, I don’t know if this is really a possibility still, but I wonder if they’re still shopping around Compliant Pig… Given his performance last year (which was heavily influenced by a knee injury), he could potentially be had for a bargain price, relative to the other potential options for OF/DH, with no long term commitment. Add to that his reasonable salary and you get a nice mix of risk and reward that won’t cost the Mariners a prospect we’ll react very emotionally to losing or miss rationally. Sounds like a much better deal than being on the hook for Kemp or hoping Corey Hart loves Weed and Coffee.

  31. jimbob on December 6th, 2013 11:22 pm

    The Yankees have lost one of the best players in baseball, homegrown talent.

  32. Westside guy on December 7th, 2013 12:00 am

    I’d rather see Saunders in a corner (where he’s a plus defender) and an honest to goodness good defender brought in to play center. Unfortunately I’m not sure such a person is gettable anymore.

    Oh, and Steve, I’m a little slow but – don’t go giving them ideas!

  33. LongDistance on December 7th, 2013 1:28 am

    It’s an atom bomb.

    And in so many ways.

    Among those ways, I think we can all agree that this signing has completely obliterated what has been a long-standing foundation for disillusion: Off season moves that never impressed anyone as being game changers. Off season additions that just had us staring at statistics, wondering if it had any impact on +WAR.

    There’s been way too long a feeling that whatever approach the Mariners would make towards trying to field a major league team was either futile in terms of their trading position, because of a disastrous reputation in the league, or (worse) a suspicion they didn’t know how to do anything, and they were just sleepwalking the club into oblivion.

    This is an absolute sea change. A complete turnabout in approach. An… Epiphany. I dunno, maybe Howard had a revelation.

    We can’t predict the future, no. Jeff has that right. But I think we can certainly say that everyone here, looking back, will see this as a milestone. We’re now stepping boldly into the post-Cano signing era. For good or for bad. That’s already something.

    We didn’t know, either, what the future would be like, before this. But whatever it is the future is going to be, now… it’s certainly going to be way different than the one we were expecting.

    Excited? No. But I don’t have to feel totally hopeless anymore.

    If all the ifs line up. Determination impact. Negotiation impact. Business strategy impact. Psychological impact. They could very well have a real major league team within the next two years.

    Jeff. You say “The Mariners are a real baseball team again.”

    If you mean to say (and I think you do) they have hitched themselves back into the MLB at least in terms of organizational commitment, I agree. As for what trots out onto the field…

    Not. Yet.

    The gate, however, is certainly open. And my coffee tastes just a bit better this morning.

  34. bookbook on December 7th, 2013 2:12 am

    When the M’s finish .500 next year, do we define this as success or failure? If the right things are happening at other positions, I’d argue success but many will disagree.

  35. WallyBall on December 7th, 2013 8:29 am

    Nats fan here. The signing reminds me a lot of the Werth signing. A clear overpay, then and now, but it didn’t hurt the franchise at all, and there are a lot of similarities. The Nats back then had a bunch of young guys that they believed would step forward, and pretty good payroll room in the lack of many long term commitments. It is getting a little dicey now as they evaluate whether they can extend Desmond and Zimmermann now, and Harper and Strasburg soon, but all in all the nats probably would do the Werth deal all over again.

    FWIW, my two cents is that SEA should take a chance on Kemp for mostly salary acquisition (or Choo, if LAD wants real prospects back), sign a Colon, flip Franklin for young corner OF, and keep all your young pitching. If your young guys keep progressing, you won’t care about Cano’s contract when he declines.

    This was the best line I’ve read in a while: We all know on some level not to have the extra slice of pizza. Well done, Jeff.

  36. furlong on December 7th, 2013 9:15 am

    I think this a far better deal than what the Angels did for a washed up Pujols or a air head Hamilton. Even the Tigers washed their hands of their fat first baseman. For once the M’s picked from the top of the heap instead of waiting till all the good one’s are gone and there is nothing left but crap to sign.

  37. 6-4-3 on December 7th, 2013 11:08 am

    You know maybe–as fans–we should concern ourselves with the quality of players a team signs and let the guys writing the checks be concerned about how much money they are spending. By any measure Cano is an outstanding player who plays a key defensive position and most would say he plays that position well. Yeah, it would be great if he was 27 rather than 31, but you can’t have everything. The Mariners signed an outstanding player. Bottom line.

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