And It’s Done

Dave · December 6, 2013 at 8:04 am · Filed Under Mariners 

10 years, $240 million for Robinson Cano. The Mariners are all-in on big splashes. Let’s hope it works out better than it did for every other team who has tried this recently.

Robinson Cano makes the Mariners better. Hopefully, he makes them better enough real soon for this to be worth it before this contract turns into a total albatross. I don’t see a contending roster even with Cano, but maybe by the end of the winter, the Mariners will have a team that justifies this kind of go-for-broke strategy. We’ll see.

And here’s my FanGraphs post about the deal.

And here’s Tony Blengino’s take on Robinson Cano’s aging curve. Yes, that Tony Blengino. He writes for FanGraphs now. I know!


71 Responses to “And It’s Done”

  1. Coug1990 on December 6th, 2013 8:08 am

    Is this the Texas Rangers and ARod all over again? Way overpay and not have a team around him?

  2. Westside guy on December 6th, 2013 8:10 am

    Holy cow. $240 million! It’ll be interesting to see what else follows, because this alone won’t be enough to make this move actually make sense.

    While I think it’s a massive overpay, I’ll take a little comfort in the fact that at least it wasn’t Prince Fielder or Josh Hamilton we ended up paying huge amounts for.

  3. podcaf on December 6th, 2013 8:13 am

    I’m a bit more of an optimist here. I don’t see the Ms as the 2002 Rangers, because they have some actual live pitching, and while the price is bad, there has to be some benefit to just changing the entire trajectory of things. With Cano around, maybe other free agents from the “solid value” bin will actually sign here.

  4. BPhipps on December 6th, 2013 8:16 am

    Pujols, Fielder, Hamilton, Howard, Crawford, Upton, Arod extension, Kemp extension, Vernon Wells…..

    These data points mean nothing to the M’s

  5. bookbook on December 6th, 2013 8:16 am

    I really think this is the right guy to overpay (assuming Trout wasn’t available). The M’s do have a lot of work ahead this offseason.

    Chan Ho Park is tanned, rested, and ready.

  6. kennyb on December 6th, 2013 8:18 am

    If this is the only move then it’s a waste of money, well, it’s a waste of money either way but…
    If they can add 3-4 more pieces it gets better.
    If they don’t? Well, there’s always Cano bobblehead night to look forward to.

  7. John W. on December 6th, 2013 8:19 am

    It’s not a great deal… But I guess I don’t mind. Also, with a lot of these huge contracts, we’ve seen that they could be unloaded easier than they originally seemed…

  8. CCW on December 6th, 2013 8:20 am

    I guess this means it’s Walker and Franklin for Price.

  9. hailcom on December 6th, 2013 8:20 am

    Wait and see makes sense, and it is also true that Cano immediately makes the Mariners a better team without losing Taijuan Walker or James Paxton. We don’t know how big the budget is now with the new income sources. If there is enough to go after Napoli or Beltran and Garza/Jimenez and some other pieces, then maybe 2014 will look very different. I am just going to hope the Ms have more money to spend than anyone has guessed and now, with Cano, they have some credibility that they really are going to try to build something. It is a big risk of a contract, but I am hoping for a more watchable Mariners team in 2014 and this is a good start.

  10. furlong on December 6th, 2013 8:23 am

    I just cannot imagine why he would want to come here. I am sure the Yankees would have come around eventually and matched that amount, Having said that he is really legit, he is not from the NL and he is in his prime. He will be productive at the Safe and is a fine defensive player. He will be a productive middle of the order hitter which the Mariner’s have lacked for years.

  11. The Ancient Mariner on December 6th, 2013 8:25 am

    I just hope they bite the bullet themselves when the downside hits.

    Maybe they’re betting on inflation, or on a rising economic tide.

  12. BPhipps on December 6th, 2013 8:26 am

    How about Franklin to Yankees for Gardner ?

  13. smb on December 6th, 2013 8:28 am

    Amazing…truly amazing. I’m choosing to be excited, but I’m nervous they’re gonna start doing stupid stuff like trading Walker for Price to “compete now.” Pretty sure if we want to compete with this much invested in one bat, then high end, club-controlled starters are pretty much a necessity.

  14. Shizane on December 6th, 2013 8:30 am

    I want to get excited about this deal, but I just can’t. It reeks of desperation. Yes, he is a very good player, but the contract will be an albatross before long…..I’m so used to other teams being dumb enough to give out this type of contract and now it’s us.

    OK Jack Z, don’t mess up the rest of the offseason.

  15. Liam on December 6th, 2013 8:30 am

    Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!

  16. patnmic on December 6th, 2013 8:34 am

    I agree with all of the reasons why this shouldn’t have been the plan…but we just added a +5WAR player at second base! I have to get excited about that. I’m going to a few games and likely spring training just to see Cano play this year.

  17. built2crash on December 6th, 2013 8:34 am

    M’s Front office: “what are data points?”

  18. tdubs206 on December 6th, 2013 8:37 am

    Fuck it. I’m on board. It’s been a long time since I’ve smiled about anything Mariner related. This is ridiculous and awesome.

  19. eponymous coward on December 6th, 2013 8:37 am

    Well, at least it’s not the Unholy Trinity of Raul, Morse or Bay…

  20. Eastside Suds on December 6th, 2013 8:39 am

    No way this is the end of the story! Even with the money, no way Jay-Z get’s this done with the M’s unless there is a promise that more is coming. Jack Z still has a lot of money to spend.

    Beltran? Price? Kemp? Napoli? Garza? Stay tuned early next week. This should be an interesting ride! GO M’s!!

  21. groundzero55 on December 6th, 2013 8:40 am

    I’m tentatively ok with this…as long as it doesn’t mean Walker gets traded for Price. I’d like some smart moves, not just more big ones.

  22. Mustard on December 6th, 2013 8:40 am

    Tears are in my eyes..just not sure if they are fear or joy yet.

  23. built2crash on December 6th, 2013 8:41 am

    Well we have 3 second basemen now, and based on Dave’s tweet, its bye bye Nick Franklin.

  24. Swungonandbelted on December 6th, 2013 8:43 am

    It’s a lot of years and a lot of money, but the only way I see this as being a bad move is if it’s the only move they make to bolster their roster.

  25. ripperlv on December 6th, 2013 8:51 am

    We are better today than we were yesterday. We still have money and a garanteed #6 pick in the draft, and now have an extra prospect who can be traded without wincing. Maybe other free agents now view Seattle a little sweeter. I suppose all of this could fall apart, but at least we are trying.

  26. okinawadave on December 6th, 2013 8:52 am

    Please, Cano, don’t fall off a cliff (statistically speaking) this year.

  27. kinickers77 on December 6th, 2013 8:53 am

    Yes we overspent but I don’t care, this is exciting!

    But please don’t trade Walker + for Price! Instead, sign Garza and deal Ackley or Franklin plus Paxton for Kemp. Heck, Sign Napoli too, and a closer and call it good.

  28. zzyzx on December 6th, 2013 8:53 am

    Am I worried about this? Sure! I’m a Mariners fan after all. However, what was being done wasn’t working. At least this is different. I’ve been so apathetic for so long that I’m willing to take the shot. What’s the worst case? It won’t work and the team will be boring? Well we know that already.

  29. smb on December 6th, 2013 8:56 am

    First time in a while I’m something other than slightly ashamed to be a Mariners fan. Still slightly ashamed, but it’s no longer the only emotion!

  30. kuptain on December 6th, 2013 8:56 am

    Count me in as this being a good get. I have always loved Cano and I don’t think his body will fail like the typical 1B does.

    I do NOT think that bring Price in is good though. We have a great young core of pitching prospects. Give’em and chance!

    I’d rather get someone in the outfield. Hopefully that is our other “bat”.

  31. ivan on December 6th, 2013 8:56 am

    I simply can’t believe the negativity around here. Cano is a terrific player and he makes the M’s better. I don’t give a rip about the money. It’s not my money. Now let’s go get Granderson, and Jimenez.

    As for the 10 years, it’s a crapshoot, but so what? Every player, and every signing, is a crapshoot. When Canop can’t play 2B anymore he can play 1B, or he can DH.

  32. Zero Gravitas on December 6th, 2013 8:58 am

    I wonder how the progress of other sports teams in Seattle impacted the M’s thinking. The Hawks are toast of the town (and their whole sport, after Monday Night), the Sounders have great fan support and made that huge Dempsey signing, and we know Mariner leadership cares about selling tickets to people here in Seattle. I guess my question is, if the Sounders and Seahawks weren’t so high profile in their respective sports right now, would the M’s feel so motivated to rebuild through huge splashy contracts like this? Because as local sports entertainment goes, they were starting to look like a distant third out of three. Anyway, interesting to think about what motivates these epic kinds of decisions.

  33. killeverything on December 6th, 2013 8:58 am

    All aboard!

    I haven’t been this excited since about 2002 with this team.

    It could make or break them. An Arod in Texas or a Heyward in Washington.

  34. ivan on December 6th, 2013 8:59 am

    And can we please fix this “no comment can be edited after other comments have been posted” nonsense? It’s embarrassing not to be able to edit your typos.

  35. Eastside Crank on December 6th, 2013 9:00 am

    Actually, the Mariners are spending someone else’s money. By the end of this contract, there will be a new owner, FO, and general manager.

  36. maqman on December 6th, 2013 9:04 am

    I have been against them signing Cano but I’ve changed my view, they need to make this statement to their fans, season ticket holders and the other players they want to sign or trade for now and in the next couple of years. It’s a tangible penalty for their past poor performance on the field and an equally real reward for taking care of the business side of things. That makes this move needed and possible. Do it, erase the word “desperate” and move on. There are more moves to make and each one should improve our viewing pleasure.

  37. hailcom on December 6th, 2013 9:13 am

    Huge risk? Yes. Certain to turn into an albatross contract any time soon? No. The aging curve data is a general predictor, not a certainty for a particular player. The relevant “data points” are not only long contracts but other players who have maintained a high WAR into their late 30s. Edgar Martinez is one example and Robinson Cano is Edgar-like as a hitter. It could happen. We have 1st base and the DH position to keep his bat in the line up as he ages. It is a major gamble, but the contract is not a guaranteed bust. And as for “overpay”, one could just as accurately say the contract is fair market value to lure Cano to the Mariners and the PNW. What most thought was impossible has now happened. Now it makes sense to hope they don’t throw away the opportunity the signing presents by giving away Walker for 2 years of Price and instead spend the $$ on other FAs and continue to develop talent from within. Maybe they go after Tanaka with the same zeal they used for Cano?

  38. ChrisFB on December 6th, 2013 9:20 am

    I understand the theory behind albatross contracts, but we have had multiple examples of so-called budget-killing, or albatross contracts, getting moved anyway. A GM can find a way to clear these out. Wells got moved, Fielder got moved… it can be done. I wouldn’t fret over it.

    “We don’t have budget room” is an excuse for teams that made multiple poor choices at multiple levels of an organization. It’s not a deal-breaker based on any one contract. The Angels were able to get Hamilton last year after spending on Pujols the year before, e.g.

  39. deflep78 on December 6th, 2013 9:28 am

    Haven’t heard much on the Morales front. Any chance the M’s try and lock him up on 2-3 year deal for DH? Wouldn’t mind that move at all.

  40. RaoulDuke37 on December 6th, 2013 9:28 am

    I’m worried about the financial impact on the 2021 Mariners. No I’m not!

    I’m excited for Cano Glitter Fire Truck Night, baby!

  41. Jamie M on December 6th, 2013 9:36 am

    Well, it’s only money and the Mariners have boatloads of cash with their small payroll and huge TV money about to wash in, so why the hell not ?

  42. heyoka on December 6th, 2013 9:37 am

    Now watch a package of walker/franklin nab Price from TB.
    ….then watch them outperform Cano/Price….


  43. Longgeorge1 on December 6th, 2013 9:39 am

    The Yankees had Cano and missed the playoffs last year. Unless the M’s put together a better team than the Yankees this deal is a waste. Is there anything that would prevent a Walker/Price deal if it was conditional that we could sign him for 5+ years?

  44. sawsatch on December 6th, 2013 9:49 am

    Recent history:
    Mariners do nothing – fans complain.
    Mariners sign the Morse’s of the world-fans complain.
    Mariners sign R.Cano – fans still complain.
    No complaints please, he makes the team a lot better. Sorry he’s not a low cost 2 year option, he makes the team better.
    Be happy for a change.
    GO HAWKS!!!

  45. omahajoe on December 6th, 2013 9:53 am

    I’ll start by saying I’m both excited about the on field improvement AND very nervous about the potential long term impact. Normally I’m against such long term commitments (nearly unprecendented commitment is more like it). That said, the only way I can stomach this deal is if we are increasing the payroll budget to make significantly more moves.

    Two questions:

    1. What are the chances that the M’s going all-in with Cano represents returning to a top 10 payroll? Many of our offseason roster plans have assumed status quo budget or slightly higher. Will they go significantly higher in 2014 knowing they have TV dollars coming?

    2. Its clear that Franklin is a goner….but if Walker is in play, I’d rather see a different move. I’d like a Felix/Price combo, but if Walker is on the table….why not go after Giancarlo Stanton?!?! Walker/Franklin/TBD for Stanton….doable?

  46. Beniitec on December 6th, 2013 10:00 am

    Price? Does that mean we get Will Myers too? LOL. Because I am not giving up Walker for just Price. That’s just plain stupid.

  47. bubba_gump on December 6th, 2013 10:05 am

    I don’t get it. Dave has pointed out in the past (several times) that the reason the Mariners suck isn’t because it’s the kids, it was the veterans. We just added the best FA on the market and people bitch. It isn’t your money, why do you care?

    None of you will be complaining if the M’s win a world series over the course of this 10 year contract.

    Stop overanalyzing shit and enjoy the fact that the M’s just added a great player.

    I’m sure they aren’t done with adding more pieces. Cano is merely the first.

  48. MarioMangler on December 6th, 2013 10:09 am

    I don’t really care how much it cost. We did something interesting and the Mariners never do anything interesting. I have absolutely no reason to complain about this deal right now. Go Mariners! And go Cano!

  49. kaleyk on December 6th, 2013 10:14 am

    Rosterbation 1.0: Opening day line up
    1. Choo LF
    2. Kemp CF
    3. Cano 2B
    4. Morales DH
    5. Seager 3B
    6. Smoak 1B
    7. Saunders RF
    8. Zunino C
    9. Miller SS

  50. nickwest1976 on December 6th, 2013 10:27 am

    Sounds like the M’s may be in on Napoli and Choo.

  51. killeverything on December 6th, 2013 10:56 am

    The problem with being in on Choo is that now they WILL being going head to head with the MFY.You can offer more than NY once, but twice? That’s what would bankrupt the team not Cano’s contract.

  52. GarForever on December 6th, 2013 11:03 am

    I’m excited, because the M’s just made themselves potentially relevant, which they haven’t been in a decade. The end of the contract will be an albatross in all likelihood, yes, but as long as he is productive at the front end I’m OK with it so long as the M’s aren’t done and don’t do something stupid (like give up Walker for a two-year, very expensive rental of David Price).

    And unlike with Pujols (history of injury), Howard (massive holes in his swing/game), Hamilton (poor approach for which he made up with insane bat speed sure to decline as he got older) and some of the other cited examples above, Cano (a) has been exceptionally durable, (b) doesn’t have obvious flaws in his approach, and (c) adds real defensive value thanks to his position and how he plays he it.

  53. eponymous coward on December 6th, 2013 11:09 am

    This deal is a lot closer to signing Adrian Beltre than signing Richie Sexson. It’s probably going to be problematic in the out-years, unless they actually front-load the contract.

  54. nickwest1976 on December 6th, 2013 11:27 am

    This is a massive risk but I agree with people that like that deal. I would much rather pay this money to Cano instead of Pujols or Fielder since he plays a premium defensive position and he plays it well.

  55. LongDistance on December 6th, 2013 11:35 am

    “Hopefully, he makes them better enough real soon for this to be worth it before this contract turns into a total albatross.”

    Agree. Agree. Agree.

    This is going for broke, in every way you can think of. I’ll risk the call, and say “real soon” on making this deal do what it needs to do… means two years, max.

    What in the world has happened to them? I can only think they must have been running some very gloomy ticket receipts forecast models across next year and beyond.

  56. JasonJ on December 6th, 2013 11:43 am

    I’ll admit that I’m excited to see Robinson Cano in the Mariners line up and I think we should be pleased that ownership has shown that they have good intentions. Whether it was the right move is another question but I think we can at least agree (maybe?) that they aren’t the horrible misers that many paint them to be.

    The reality is that we all want the Mariners to be run smartly like the Rays or Athletics but with the added benefit of an additional $50 million in payroll. Imagine if you added Felix and Cano to either of those teams. That could be us!

    As we know, the rest of the team as a whole is not great but that doesn’t mean it can’t be great in the future. We do still have a number of young players that can turn out to be great. However, JZ needs to make smart moves from here on out. No Nelson Cruz and no Walker for Price.

    I can’t wait to see how this plays out.

  57. mksh21 on December 6th, 2013 11:59 am

    Im just going to enjoy the 2 or 3 hopefully “great” years of 4+win baseball he provides and pray the decline is at least bearable.

    Of course the contract stinks. But people that have been fans for 30 years like myself needed this. 1995-2001 seems like a million years ago.

    Even though its winter here in UNY im going tank top today flashing the M’s tats!

    This made me forget that we resaquirred Bloomquist for at least an hour as well.

  58. plyka on December 6th, 2013 12:05 pm

    I think we don’t know what we do not know. Is it possible that the Mariners are sending a message? The message isn’t “we are desperate” it isn’t that “we needed to make a splash,” but it may be that the Mariners are signaling that they are no longer a small market team. The Mariners play in Seattle, it’s a pretty big city. The Mariners have the potential to become an upper mid size market team –and this may be their signal that they are ready to spend like a big market team.

    Regarding Cano, he is the RIGHT PLAYER to spend this much money on. He is durable. He provides incredible hitting at middle infield. The guy is the best player on the Yankees, because his value is so high at 2nd base. Fielder is basically a DH, how do you pay that much for a DH? You can find a Kendry Morales, the drop off isn’t that much. The fact that Cano plays 2nd base causes his value to climb so much, because the average player at that position is not even close to him.

    I love the deal, and I think the Mariners will continue adding pieces.

    Edit: BTW, this is the first time i’ve visited ussmariner in a couple YEARS. What does that say? Cano will bring in a lot of fans, not only because of his play but because the Mariners are signaling they are now for real.

    Edit #2: The Mariners have been trying it the “other way” for years now –has it worked? NO. So what is the problem with going a different route?

  59. The Hamms Bear on December 6th, 2013 12:25 pm

    I wish I could have seen Wedge’s face when he heard the news.

  60. 6-4-3 on December 6th, 2013 12:36 pm

    It’s a crazy amount of money, but how can you be anything but excited to see one of the best players in the game wearing a Mariners uniform?

  61. HighBrie on December 6th, 2013 12:52 pm

    I know rosterbating is not permitted. I merely want to raise the amusing thought that given the Yankees have a need at second and we have a surplus, that trading Ackley/Franklin to the Yankees for Brett Gardner would be pretty cool.

  62. stevemotivateir on December 6th, 2013 1:35 pm

    Now watch, he fails the physical.

    Seriously, this makes me incredibly nervous. Not because of the overpay for Cano, but because of the moves which may follow.

    Desperation voids rational.

  63. just a fan on December 6th, 2013 1:43 pm

    This is such a great signing! The Mariners have been drafting guys for six years, and now it’s time to augment the roster.

    It’s a lot of money for a 31-year-old, but the M’s have it and this is only the beginning. Mike Napoli could be next, and they have more money beyond that for additional moves. Price? Beltran? Ethier or Kemp?

    Who knows, let’s hope this is successful and awesome. We can all be depressed together later if things don’t work out!

  64. nwade on December 6th, 2013 1:57 pm

    I’ve learned the hard way in my current job: Don’t stress about the things you cannot control. You only hurt yourself!

  65. killeverything on December 6th, 2013 2:03 pm

    @ Just A Fan


  66. John Morgan on December 6th, 2013 2:11 pm

    Thanks, Mr. Cameron, for spending the time to offer an informed opinion–one, I have no doubt, you think is best rooted in the truth, and most intellectually honest. Many Mariners fans just want to be excited about something, and others seem to default to dread, and so I know how unpopular a nuanced, even-handed opinion that’s neither “yay!” not “boo!” can be. … slings and arrows from both sides.

    Personally, I am not excited for Cano, but not because I have any idea how good he will be. If two months into the season Cano has done some great things in M’s Blue, then I will be excited for Cano. Right now he’s a hired gun and potential (good/catastrophically-bad), not yet a real Mariner, and not someone that excites much response in me. Baseball decidedly is not won by one player.

    . . .

    It seems Blengino has personality and is a good writer. Congrats.

  67. stevemotivateir on December 6th, 2013 3:27 pm

    This is such a great signing! The Mariners have been drafting guys for six years, and now it’s time to augment the roster.

    Really bums me out when I see the exact same words of propagandists (in this case, Jack himself) reused by their targets, suggesting they took the hook, line, and sinker.

    I don’t blame anyone for being excited about this. It is exciting. But for the love of god, please, think and speak for yourselves!

    Overpaying to land a great player is one thing, gambling the future by dealing the very same prospects used as an excuse for sucking the last four seasons, because patience was the key and they needed time, is another.

  68. cougs129 on December 6th, 2013 4:49 pm

    Daves negativity is obnoxious. Before the off-season he acted like ellsbury would be a bad signing, Yankees sign him and he loves it. Literally nothing the mariners do would dave agree with, unless it was trading Paxton, and nick Franklin, which is humorous that dave thinks that is a good idea. I’m done with dave the downer and his analysis, it’s garbage.

  69. cougs129 on December 6th, 2013 4:59 pm

    Trading Paxton and Franklin for dexter fowler i forgot to add, LOL!

  70. TumwaterMike on December 6th, 2013 5:17 pm

    Cano can play 2B for the next 4-5 years, then switch to a corner position for the next 2-3 years and then if he’s still hitting, become a DH. Also after 5-6 years he may have value as a trade piece. I’m not mad about the signing. It makes relevant again.

    I’m just excited to see who the next piece is.

  71. Wolfman on December 6th, 2013 9:05 pm

    “Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!”

    LOL!!! Funniest post I’ve read in a LONG time! Perfect response. Thanks, Liam. I needed that! :D

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